Edinburgh’s Council Leader will write to the UK Government calling for the number of refugees to be welcomed to the UK to be increased from the 20,000 people already committed to over five years.

Councillor Adam McVey is to act after a coalition motion which was unanimously approved at a meeting of the Full Council on Thursday. 

Cllr McVey said: “The deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is heartbreaking to witness and as a city, we want to do everything we can to help people fleeing for their lives as the crisis deepens. That’s why I’ll be writing to the UK Government calling on them to increase the number of Afghans who will be welcomed to the country in the coming years.

“We’re working very closely with partner agencies and the Home Office already and will soon give shelter to around 250 Afghan refugees in the Capital, as well as around 50 people to settle as permanent citizens. We’re proud to have them join us and will welcome them with open arms, as we will when more of their countrymen and women arrive in the Capital in the months to come.”

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: “It’s humbling to see the outpouring of compassion and generosity shown by so many residents in the city who are coming forward with offers of accommodation and direct support for Afghan refugees. We are an outward-facing, globally responsible Capital and will play our full part in helping people in such desperate need.

“We now call on the UK Government to increase the total number of Afghan refugees that can be welcomed to Britain over the coming years and for local authorities to be provided with appropriate funding to support their needs.”