Furious backlash as councillor says desperate Afghans being flown to UK will ‘blow us up’

Furious backlash as councillor says desperate Afghans being flown to UK will ‘blow us up’

During a parish council meeting, Sheila Day made the shocking remark to members as they were being briefed on a flight arranged for refugees fleeing Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

Ms Day, 78, asked if Kingshurst Parish Council officials, based in Birmingham, were prepared for the Afghans to begin “blowing us up”.

Her comment sparked gasps from those taking part and members of the public watching on.

Ms Day was “read the riot act” by acting council chair David Cole once the public left the meeting.

Mr Cole told Birmingham Live: “At the end of the meeting I instructed councillors to stay behind.

“Ms Day immediately apologised unreservedly and I have accepted the apology on behalf of the council.”

One person watching the meeting said he was “embarrassed” and “blown away” by her comments.

Another said her remarks were “not helpful” as families needed help settling in upon their arrival.

While it is believed she “immediately” apologised and retracted the comment, Ms Day has since stood by her remarks.

READ MORE: Female news anchors ‘not allowed’ to broadcast in Afghanistan

“And we’re inviting the same people into this country to have houses [and] jobs.”

She also did not believe all the Afghans who had come to the UK had worked with British forces.

Ms Day also claimed the Taliban would try to “smuggle people into the country to cause mayhem, blow us up or do whatever”.

Nazek Ramadan, director of charity Migrant Voice, which advocates for migrant communities, condemned the comments.

She said: “These kinds of comments are totally inappropriate, inflammatory and fuel racism. They spread misinformation and incite hatred.

“We should not be distracted from welcoming Afghan families arriving in the UK.

“We’ve seen the overwhelming support from the British public, which has stepped up to provide all kinds of assistance to help their fellow human beings in their hour of need.”

The UK Government has pledged to resettle 10,000 Afghan refugees this year and 20,000 in the longer term.

But the humanitarian body, International Rescue Committee, has said their figures are “completely inadequate”.

On their website, they wrote: “This is completely inadequate given the scale of need and the UK’s capacity to help.

“It is urgent that the Government increases the speed and scale of resettlement for Afghans who need protection now, not in five years’ time.

“It is also vital that the UK review any rejected asylum claims for Afghans who are still in the UK.”

Published at Sun, 12 Sep 2021 16:08:00 +0000