Croydon MP offers to house refugees in his 4-bed home

53 Shirley Church RoadIf you owned this sumptuous, near-£1 million property, pictured above, in “sexy” Shirley (copyright Will Self, 2015), would you open your doors to house Syrian refugees?

Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Lambeth South/Croydon North (delete to taste), has been reported as saying that he would.

The Croydon Guardian ran the eye-catching headline of: “I’d open my home to refugees” this week, suggesting that the Progress MP would do just that. Oddly, no where in the accompanying article does Reed actually say such a thing.

Of course, if that headline is misleading, it would be reasonable to expect Reed or someone on his parliamentary staff to have promptly contacted the newspaper to correct its website report with some urgency. So that the report remains, apparently unaltered, after two days suggests that Reed is entirely comfortable with its message.

Of course, the headline shows Reed in a very positive, humanitarian light, especially when compared to Croydon’s Tory MPs, who were both interviewed before David Cameron cobbled together their party’s response to the public outcry following the broadcast of the heart-rending images of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach.

A safe haven for refugees: Steve Reed OBE has reported said he'll provide a home for refugees

A safe haven for refugees: Steve Reed OBE has reported said he’ll provide a home for refugees

If Reed does take-in a family of refugees, he’d be one of just 10 per cent of the British population prepared – or able – to do so, according to a survey.

Reed told the local paper: “We have a long and proud record of helping people fleeing war and conflict, and it’s shameful that our Prime Minister refuses to reach out to them.”

Britain has allowed 216 Syrian refugees into the country since March 2014 under a “vulnerable” people scheme; the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said her country will welcome 800,000.

“We are big enough to offer more sanctuary to people in Britain,”  said Reed.

Certainly, Reed’s home in Shirley Church Road appears plenty big enough to offer sanctuary to a refugee family.

Reed and his partner bought the house, now estimated as being worth around £860,000, in early 2014. Reed, the former leader of Lambeth Council, was elected to parliament in November 2012.

An estate agent's rear view of the MP's house: the garden might even offer space enough for additional refugees to camp, until more permanent accommodation can be found

An estate agent’s rear view of the MP’s house: the garden might even offer space enough for additional refugees to camp, until more permanent accommodation can be found

Reed has never lived in his parliamentary constituency, preferring to invest in the property in the Shirley Hills with its four bedrooms, two bathrooms and three receptions. Plenty of space, therefore, to provide temporary accommodation for a family of refugees. Maybe more.

Compare Reed’s generous and hospitable offer to the somewhat mealy-mouthed attitude of self-made millionaire Chris Philp, the newly elected Croydon South MP.

“We already welcome a very, very large number of people into this country,” said Philp, clearly not wishing to piss-off any Tory voters who have been considering joining UKIP.

There will be no welcome for refugees at Philp’s newly purchased house in Coulsdon, even though it has yet to be established whether Philp has actually made his Croydon property his home. “There are lots of refugee camps in Jordan, next door to Syria, and we should put a lot of money into making sure those are running properly,” Philp said, clearly uneasy with any refugees coming to Britain.

Steve Reed OBE: his newspaper interview showed humanitarian concern

Steve Reed OBE: his newspaper interview showed humanitarian concern

Indeed, right-winger Philp advocates regime change and more military intervention (because behaving in an Imperialist manner has worked so well): “I think also we should be making an effort to ensure Assad is toppled so that the war in Syria comes to an end,” the Tory new boy said.

That compares poorly to the compassion evident in Reed’s stance over the refugee crisis. Indeed, on the hot topic of refugees, Reed has demonstrated a far more welcoming attitude than he has himself recently over, for instance, new supporters to the Labour Party.

So Inside Croydon is looking forward to congratulating the MP on his generous gesture when he takes in to his home the first refugee family, demonstrating that his position is not just a ready soundbyte for the local press, but a real act of humanitarianism.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Chris Philp MP, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell, Property, Shirley, Steve Reed MP and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Croydon MP offers to house refugees in his 4-bed home

  1. Of course we all feel that we must help these people. I know exactly how these refugees feel as I came to Britain as a refugee though it was not my intention to come to this country.

    Forget about those who seek publicity just think about the problems Britain is going to face.
    There is no money to feed our own who are struggling. Just see the homeless people who will still be homeless this time next year but refugees will have a place to stay.
    We have to pump money into Scotland.
    We have to give foreign aid.
    We have to police the world.
    We must respect the religious beliefs of all these people who have come in. That means more mosques should be built.
    More hospitals, More schools and the social problems as they don’t integrate.
    The Nationalists will get popular very soon.

    I certainly don’t have any room in our little house. I can’t afford big houses like socialists.

    We all feel that something must be done as the refugees are human beings too. It is time for the
    Arabic countries like Saudi Arabia and other states to do something.

    • Duona says:

      What a shame that those who have benefited from Britain welcoming them as refugees now want to turn their backs on others. Those incoming may even have more to contribute to society than the hard-nosed contributor above.

      As for the “they don’t integrate” statement, it shows an ignorance and intolerance that is to be expected from said contributor.

  2. davidjl2014 says:

    Appalling article. Just because he’s a Tory MP automatically means it’s an obnoxious blot on society. Look at millionaires like Tony Blair, Lord Sainsbury, Margaret Hodge and Geoffrey Robinson, all supporters of the Labour Party. Are they offering similar accommodation based on their wealth? Get real.

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