“I would like to clarify remarks I made yesterday about refugees from Afghanistan coming to Torbay. 

“The situation in Afghanistan is a humanitarian crisis and we must be generous. I am proud that Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons yesterday called on the UK Government to offer sanctuary to 20,000 refugees to the UK by the end of next year as a bare minimum. 

“The UK Government must help councils to deliver this target by providing more funding and support to councils urgently. The priority is to do everything we can as a nation to make as many people as we can safe from the Taliban.

“I’d also like to apologise for comments which have been construed as suggesting that Afghan refugees would not be welcome in Torbay because of their ethnic background. That is not my belief. I am deeply sorry if these comments offended anyone, the point I was trying to make was that we will need more funding from central Government so that we can support refugees as they become part of our community.

“Here in Torbay, during the Syrian refugee crisis we offered sanctuary to families from Syria, our community is warm and open and will welcome Afghan refugees with open arms.”

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