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Steerpike

Yvette Cooper’s refugee record

Yvette Cooper's refugee record
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As the Ukraine crisis rages, Labour has chosen to focus on the issue of visas for fleeing Ukrainian refugees. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper went for her opposite number Priti Patel on it in Parliament yesterday, demanding 'clear answers' for those 'urgently seeking sanctuary or to rejoin relatives.' 

It looks like Patel will now be forced to give a ministerial statement today, updating the government's position on the issue: a win for Cooper and those demanding more action.

Still Mr S couldn't help but think back to Cooper's own record when it comes to refugees. In 2015, she was one of a number of politicians and celebrities who volunteered to take Syrian refugees into their home, saying:

If that’s what it took and that’s what was needed, then of course, I think lots of people would be.

Alas, it seems that Cooper is still yet to take the plunge, with Steerpike's enquiries to her office yesterday about whether she adopted any refugees going unanswered. Indeed, in 2016 LBC's Nick Ferrari took Cooper to task over her apparent U-turn, asking:

NF: Have you taken your refugee in yet? 

YC: Well, I think we should be offering sanctuary

NF: But have you taken yours yet?

YC: Yeah but I don’t think this is about… I’ve said from the start if people need homes we should be offering…

NF: Have you taken yours yet?

YC: If you listen to what the government’s said, they’ve said no they don’t want people to take them into their homes. What they want is to provide housing for the small number of Syrian refugees who have come over. Where I do think we should help and…

NF: Have you taken yours yet Yvette?

YC: No that’s what I said, because the government has said

By the end of the interview, Cooper claimed she had not had 'proper support and training from local councils to be a proper fosterer'. Perhaps now Cooper will be so appalled about the current situation in Ukraine she will find the time to remedy this and lead by example by putting her past words into action.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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Topics in this articlePoliticsyvette cooperukrainesyria