Kim Leadbeater MP presents young schoolboy’s petition to Number Ten

Batley and Spen MP Ms Leadbeater delivered the petition after Hassan Hariri collected almost 200 signatures from friends and family.

By Jessica Barton
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 11:30 am
Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater delivered the petition by hand to Number Ten.
Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater delivered the petition by hand to Number Ten.

Ten year old Hassan, a student at Windmill Church of England School, Batley, has collected almost 200 signatures from school friends, neighbours and his football team calling on the government to provide safe passage to refugees from Ukraine.

His MP, Kim Leadbeater, has now presented the petition to Downing Street.

Ms Leadbeater said: “I am delighted to support Hassan’s petition. He’s a very bright and compassionate young man and it’s a tribute to his maturity that he decided to do what he could to show support for refugees from the terrible war in Ukraine.”

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Hassan said: “It is really important for young people’s voices to be heard on important issues such as helping refugees. I am just a kid who is fighting for what I think is right.

“I am grateful to my MP Kim Leadbeater for helping me and my friends get our message to the Prime Minister.”

Ms Leadbeater added: “I presented Hassan’s petition to the Prime Minister on the day I received details from other constituents describing how difficult the government’s process of offering a home to Ukrainians can be.

“One told me how she has found a family of five living near Lviv who she wishes to sponsor. She told me that by night the parents pull their terrified children from their beds to shelter in the basement car park and hope the bombs don’t reach them. Having spent hours filling in the online forms required by the Home Office she said there was no chance that someone without English language skills could supply the details demanded. She said to me, ‘I am genuinely horrified at the system and fear for what may happen to the family I have come to know whilst this ridiculous system takes its course.’

“Other constituents with family in Ukraine have told me that what's needed is for the Home Office to establish pop-up centres close to the border with native Ukrainian speakers available to help connect refugees with potential hosts over here and that is an idea I would strongly support.

“And I’m delighted that schools in the constituency are also coming forward offering to help give the children of refugees the hand of friendship they need.

“I will continue to support people in Batley and Spen offering assistance to people fleeing the war and ensure any refugees receive a warm welcome in their hour of need.”