After photos emerged of three-year-old Syrian Aylan Kurdi’s body being washed up on a Turkish beach, the British public hit out at the government for failing to do enough to help with the current refugee crisis. Although the government has so far spent £900 million helping refugees who have fled Syria, many were outraged that more refugees were not being allowed into Britain.
In fact, to help the cause a number of high-profile figures — including Sir Bob Geldof and Stan Collymore — said that they would happily take refugees into their home to aid efforts. What’s more, thanks to schemes such as Room for Refugees their heartfelt pledges could now actually be realised. The scheme allows those with free shelter to sign up online and then the British Red Cross and Refugee council works to match refugees — Syrian and other — with potential hosts.
So, three months on, Mr S thought it was only fair to check how the inspiring celebrities are getting on with their refugee intake.
Sir Bob Geldof offered to house not one, not two, but three families in order to help with the refugee crisis. Speaking in September, the Band Aid founder blasted the government’s response as an ‘absolute sickening disgrace’ and said he was prepared to take three families immediately:
‘I’m prepared – I’m lucky, I’ve a place in Kent and a flat in London – me and (partner) Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future.’
Alas, when Steerpike contacted his representatives to find out whether he had any refugees currently living in his properties, Mr S received no response. Yet more silence greeted Mr S, when he inquired as to whether Geldof was in the process of trying to use his residences to house refugees.
It was a similar story with regards to Stan Collymore, who said he would take a refugee family into his home back in September:
If my government allows, I'll take a Syrian family in my home for a year, tomorrow @leehayward1970 . Will you? Or just bitch?
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) September 2, 2015
When Mr S contacted representatives for the former footballer to check how he was getting on with the refugee family, Steerpike received no reply.
It’s almost as if they want to avoid the question.