MP's offer to help Afghans in Northampton desperate to see loved ones escape Taliban regime

Andrew Lewer says he's taken "large number" of constituents' calls fearing for families who need to evacuate
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MP Andrew Lewer has reached out to Northampton's Afghan community with offers of help for loved ones trying to flee the country.

The Tory member for Northampton South warned the situation in Afghanistan is "chaotic and dangerous" following the Taliban takeover and he has been inundated with calls from desperate constituents.

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He said: "These are deeply worrying times and my office has taken a large number of calls from constituents who have family members in Afghanistan who desperately need to evacuate.

"This is a fast moving, volatile situation and time is of the essence but we are here to help."

Mr Lewer has asked constituents with loved ones in Afghanistan who need to be evacuated to contact him via his website HEREwith information to help UK officials to locate them.

West Northamptonshire Council says it is in early discussions with the Home Office over resettling Afghan refugees in the area.

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Boris Johnson announced yesterday (August 18) that the UK will resettle 20,000 refugees from the country over the next five years.

Northampton MP says the situation in Afghanistan is "chaotic and dangerous"Northampton MP says the situation in Afghanistan is "chaotic and dangerous"
Northampton MP says the situation in Afghanistan is "chaotic and dangerous"

A council spokesman said: "Central government and the East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership have invited West Northants Council to participate in the Afghan Locally Employed Staff Relocation Scheme.

"We are aware of the current situation in Afghanistan and the urgent requirement to get families to safety as swiftly as possible.

"We are very keen to help and are in early discussions with the Home Office as to how we can provide support."

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Home secretary Priti Patel says the government will be working with local authorities over resettlement plans for up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans during the next 12 months.

She told Sky News today: "We have to ensure we have the support structures throughout the United Kingdom. We will be working with local councils throughout the country, the devolved governments as well.

"We are working quickly on this. We cannot accommodate 20,000 people all in one go. Currently we are bringing back almost 1,000 people a day. This is an enormous effort. We can't do this on our own. We have to work together."

Ms Patel added that the government is "prioritising women and girls and vulnerable people first", who are most at risk of human rights abuses and maltreatment by the Taliban.