This is typical Cameron foreign policy behaviour.
Remember the floods of nearly two years ago, when Cameron said “money is no object” and then didn’t do very much? Before that crisis was over, we had discovered that he could have accessed a huge European Union fund to help pay for flood relief – but had allowed the deadline to pass, apparently because he didn’t want to upset Euro-sceptics in his party.
Now we see that Cameron, who was reluctant to offer space for 20,000 foreign refugees, could easily accommodate two-and-a-half times as many, with help from the Church of England.
Why has he failed to take up the offer? Could it be because Tory immigration policy has been a disaster and he thinks his own backbenchers will attack him if he deliberately allows anybody else in?
An extraordinary row between the Church of England and the prime minister has burst into the open as 84 bishops have accused David Cameron of ignoring their offers to help to provide housing, foster care and other support for up to 50,000 refugees.
In a remarkable move that shows their frustration at Downing Street’s foot-dragging, the bishops have released to the Observer a private letter they sent to the prime minister in early September.
In it they called on him to increase the number of refugees that the UK is prepared to take over the next five years from 20,000 to 50,000, and to consider involving the church in a national effort to “mobilise the nation as in times past”.
Describing the mass movement of refugees as a “moral crisis”, the bishops offered to rally “churches, congregations and individuals” across the country behind efforts to make rental properties and spare housing available to those who had fled their homelands.
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