Plaid Cymru hit back against Guido Fawkes claim that they don’t support refugees
Plaid Cymru have hit back against a claim by Westminster politics website Guido Fawkes that their rhetoric on refugees is undermined by their own record in local government.
The Guido Fawkes site, which is edited by Paul Staines, claimed in a blog post this week that according to official asylum and resettlement data, Plaid-led local authorities supported only five asylum seekers between the end of March 2017 and December 2021.
Of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Anglesey and Gwynedd, only Ceredigion and Gwynedd supported two and three asylum seekers between them, the site claimed.
However, Plaid Cymru said that the figures were incorrect as they did not include resettlement data, but only those who were provided with financial and accommodation support while awaiting an asylum decision.
These people usually stay in the four asylum dispersal areas in Wales which are in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham, they said.
Plaid Cymru led local authorities in general have an above average resettlement rate compared to the UK as a whole, with Ceredigion having the highest resettlement rate in Wales (10 people per 10,000 population) and Carmarthenshire resettled the highest number of people in Wales (172), they added.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts highlighted what she called their “particularly good track record with resettlement” during a debate on Ukrainian refugees in Parliament yesterday.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Liz Saville Roberts pointed to the local authority data for Plaid Cymru lead local authorities and said: “This is exceptional given the rural nature of these local authorities. Ministers must outline what national support networks are there to operate beyond the south-east and beyond London.
“If we are resettling people beyond the United Kingdom then it is essential that national support is extended beyond the south-east. Plaid Cymru councils will of course play their part in the new sponsorship pathway.
“My own council Cyngor Gwynedd wrote to the Prime Minister yesterday to express the willingness of the council and people in Gwynedd to provide sanctuary for refugees as soon as possible and urged for the sponsorship pathway to replicate the arrangements that exist in Ireland, where on arrival, refugees are welcomed to comfortable processing centres where they have access to basic essentials, and children have access to a safe play area.”
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