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UK 'has accepted 1500 Syrians'

THE UK has accepted around 1500 asylum seekers from Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

Mr Clegg said accepting the asylum seekers had been made under the country's international obligations. But no mention of the details was made between Christmas and new year when Ukip leader Nigel Farage said the Government should accept a limited number of refugees from Syria.

Mr Farage was apparently backed by Tory minister Earl Howe, who said Britain had traditionally been a country that "looked kindly on people in distress" and insisted "that should not change". This prompted the Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps to insist the Government was right to focus its efforts on providing aid to Syria and its neighbours.

But yesterday the Deputy PM said Britain had in fact taken in around 1500 refugees from Syria. A source said that between January and September last year, the figure stood at 1100 but that had undoubtedly risen.

Mr Clegg told the Commons: "We have accepted about 1500 asylum seekers.

"We have accepted hundreds of asylum seekers who have sought and been provided with refuge in this country under our international obligations.

"I think that we should all, on all sides of this House, should be very proud of the fact that we, and the generosity of the British people, have led to more British assistance going, through £500 million of assistance, to Jordan and other front line states, to those communities in the region who are dealing with this terrible humanitarian crisis."

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