Sun and Independent launch Aylan-inspired refugee campaigns as Mail maintains tougher line - Press Gazette

Sun and Independent launch Aylan-inspired refugee campaigns as Mail maintains tougher line

The Sun today launched a campaign urging the UK to give 3,000 orphan refugee children foster homes in the UK. This figure is based on the UN's "fair shair" analysis that Britain should take a proportion of 26,000 migrant orphans in Europe.

The move comes as the story of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, pictured drowned on a Turkish beach, and that of his family continues to dominate the UK national press.

The Sun has also today urged readers to make donations to Save the Children’s Child Refugee Crisis appeal which provides food and health checks for migrant children arriving in Italy and Greece. Readers are also asked to donate £5 by texting Aylan to 70008 on their phones.

The Sun tabloid has previously attracted widespread criticism for a Katie Hopkins column published in April which called African migrants crossing into Europe “cockroaches” and which remains online.

More than 200,000 have signed a petition launched by The Independent yesterday calling for Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure Britain takes its “fair share” of migrants arriving in Europe after fleeing war and persecution. Those pictured on Twitter with the “Refugees Welcome” slogan include Labour MPs Yvette Cooper and Sadiq Kahn.

Meanwhile, writing in the Daily Mail today, Richard Littlejohn described the reaction to the Aylan photographs as “deranged”.

He said: “Objective reporting, especially in the broadcast media, has been thrown out of the window, to be replaced by New Age emoting and political posturing on behalf of the ‘Let Them All In’ and ‘We’re All the Blame’ Brigade."

Questioning why Aylan's father chose to attempt the sea crossing into Greece, he said: "They’d been living in Turkey for the past year. So why didn’t he apply for asylum there? After all, surely culturally Syria has more in common with Turkey, another Muslim country, than with Tunbridge Wells or Trondheim.

"We’re also told that he’s a Kurd. So why didn’t he move to Kurdistan? Who knows? And that’s just the point. No one knows anything for sure.

"Similarly, the shocking death of a child should never be exploited just because media tarts and ‘liberal’ luvvies such as Jackboots Jacqui and the absurd Emma Thompson can feel good about themselves.

"However horrible, however tragic such cases are, they’re not a sensible basis for a realistic asylum policy."

In a leader column the Daily Mail welcome Cameron's suggestion that Britain should take a "several thousand" more refugees from camps surrounding Syria.

It said: "This is a sensible response which, unlike the EU’s demands for Britain to take a quota of the migrants who are already massed in Europe, should not serve as a magnet for ever more people to attempt to cross the Mediterranean, with potentially deadly consequences."



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette