Two sister dailies have called for the cities they serve to become sanctuaries for refugees fleeing Syria.
The MEN urged David Cameron to act on the crisis so Manchester could “play its part to help repair the lives of the stricken refugees”.
In a front page editorial, the newspaper remarked upon the city’s history of helping those fleeing persecution – including its Chinese, Jewish and existing Syrian communities.
It continued: “These destitute, terrified people are not some perverse test of our borders, or of our immigration policy. They are a test of our humanity.
“Since the start of the year, Britain has given sanctuary to little more than 200 people escaping terror in Syria; terror few of us here can imagine.
“Germany, by contrast, is expecting up to one million by the end of this year. David Cameron should think again.
“If, as a country we define ourselves as one of fair play and decency, this shows him – and consequently us – to be lacking.
“In sticking to his guns, in repeatedly insisting we cannot take our fair share of refugees, the Prime Minister may believe he is in touch with public opinion. We believe he is wrong.”
Meanwhile its Trinity Mirror stablemate the Mail signed up to the City of Sanctuary campaign, which aims to make Birmingham a place committed to welcoming and including people seeking asylum there.
It also urged Mr Cameron to act, and ran an exclusive story about a Sudanese student in the city whose civil engineering graduate brother died on a Channel Tunnel freight train.
The Mail’s editorial reads: “Ours is a city built on generations of refugees from war, famine and persecution. They – we – make Birmingham the most vibrant and diverse city in the UK, and so we have much that other cities can learn from.
“Sure, we know there are challenges when new communities make their home here, but we know how to make it work. More than that, we know what an opportunity it is for a city.
“The City of Sanctuary campaign, which has already won cross-party support in the city council, has a simple aim.
“It wants to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. Its goal is to create a network of towns and cities throughout the UK which are proud to be places of safety, and which include people seeking sanctuary fully in the life of their communities.
“A ‘City of Sanctuary’ is a place committed to welcoming and including people seeking sanctuary. The Mail is proud to join this movement.
“This isn’t about ‘opening the floodgates’. This is about helping mothers, fathers and children to flee unimaginable horrors. The kind of horrors that make setting out to sea on a ramshackle boat a safer option than staying put.”