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City declared refugee ‘sanctuary’ after regional daily campaign

A regional daily has succeeded in its bid to have its patch designated as a ‘City of Sanctuary’ for refugees.

As previously reported on HTFP, the Birmingham Mail launched a campaign to give the city the title, aiming to make it a place committed to welcoming and including people seeking asylum there.

Birmingham City Council has now formally declared the city a sanctuary for those fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea.

It joined more than 40 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland that have embraced the City of Sanctuary movement in a formal designation ceremony in Birmingham’s Council House on Friday.

The Mail's front page from 4 September which launched the campaign

The Mail’s front page from 4 September which launched the campaign

The council has so far agreed to rehome 50 Syrian refugees under the Government’s resettlement programme.

The authority has urged community associations, sports clubs and other local groups to help the new arrivals integrate into city life.

On the day it launched the campaign, the Mail ran an exclusive story about a Sudanese student in the city whose civil engineering graduate brother died on a Channel Tunnel freight train.

Other regional press titles to embrace the City of Sanctuary idea include The Star, Sheffield, and the Mail’s Trinity Mirror stablemate the Manchester Evening News.

All three made front page pleas in September urging Prime Minister David Cameron to do more for refugees.

Mail editor Marc Reeves said: “Friday’s announcement is the result of the campaigning of thousands of ordinary Brummies and community groups.

“The Mail was delighted to support their efforts and show how welcoming this beautiful city is to those in need of shelter.”

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  • December 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    A beautiful illustration of how our political and media class have absolute contempt for the public.

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