The political party leaders have shown their support for Refugee Week this year and encourage a greater culture of welcome for refugees in the UK.

David Cameron, Prime Minister & Leader of the Conservative Party said:

“The UK has a long tradition of providing sanctuary for those fleeing persecution. I am proud that the UK offers genuine refugees and their children an opportunity to build a new life. Refugee Week is an excellent opportunity to recognise this and the contribution that refugees make to the UK.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg & Leader of the Lib Dem Party shared:

“Refugee week is an important opportunity to draw attention to those people across the world who have been forced to flee from their homes, communities and countries. It also offers us the chance to celebrate the remarkable contribution which refugees make when they establish new lives in other countries. The UK has a long and proud tradition of providing refuge to people at a time of crisis. Our culture is immeasurably richer for the culture, hard work, and diversity which refugees have brought to our society. I am proud that this legacy continues, and this year we have played our part by providing humanitarian aid, shelter and support to many Syrians fleeing the chaos engulfing their country.”

As a son of refugees who fled Belgian in the 1940s, Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party added:

“Refugee week is a good moment to celebrate our country’s history of offering sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and war. As the son of refugees I am particularly proud and grateful for that.”

Leanne Wood AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru said:

“I am happy to renew my backing to this important annual event.Refugee Week celebrates the benefits from welcoming people seeking to escape danger and persecution to our shores. It also promotes sensible and rational debate while deconstructing the many dangerous myths in circulation about what should be a natural responsibility of any compassionate country. This is crucial because there is deluge of adverse coverage in certain sections of the media that seeks to distort the true picture.The UK does not accept more applications for asylum than other comparable countries in Europe. France, with a similar sized population, receives more than twice as many asylum applications as the UK according to the latest figures. Sweden, with less than a sixth of the population of the UK, also receives considerably more applications than the UK.We should remember why the refugee system exists; to provide a safe place for those seeking persecution in their own country. That is something that has been offered in the UK for a long time and long may it continue.”

Mike Nesbitt MLA, Leader, Ulster Unionist Party, said:

“I wish to add my full support to the Refugee Week cause… I, as Chair of the oFMdFm committee put forward the following motion forward to be debated in the Northern Ireland Assembly: ‘This this Assembly notes that 16-22 June 2014 marks Refugee Week 2014 and Community Relations Week 2014; further notes the respective thesmes of Shared Future and Building a United Community; and expresses its support for both Refugee Week and Community Relations Week, particularly in relation to their shared aim of facilitating positive encounters between diverse cultures in order to encourage greater understanding, overcome hostility and build a shared society.'”

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said:

“I’m delighted to offer theGreen Party’s strong support for Refugee Week, which celebrates andaims to strengthen Britain’s historic commitment to providingsanctuary to those fleeing war and persecution. This year’s focus onrefugee children and young people is apt given that we are seeingincreasing numbers of unaccompanied minors needing refuge around theworld. We need to take this opportunity as a nation to re-commit to fullyand enthusiastically living up to our obligations, both moral andlegal, to ensure that we are providing a safe haven to all reachingour shores needing it, and are providing opportunities for others tofind refuge in Britain without the need to risk long, dangerous,uncertain journeys.”

Read more about the overwhelming number of young people supporting refugees in the UK here.

The new generation of first-time voters casting their first ballots in 2015 are “Generation Welcome”, with eight out of ten (79%) proud of Britain’s tradition of protecting refugees and three quarters (76%) wanting Britain to keep up its role of offering a safe place for people – especially children – fleeing violence, war and persecution, according to new research released today (Sunday 15 June) to launch Refugee Week.

For more media information and to arrange interviews, please contact: Georgina Cooper on 07545 705085 or Steve Ballinger at British Future on 07807 348988.