BRITAIN should open up its hearts and borders to Syria’s refugees, according to Scotland’s leading Catholic church leader.

Philip Tartaglia, the Archbishop of Glasgow, spoke out after David Cameron bowed to public and political pressure and announced "thousands more” refugees would be given sanctuary in the UK.

He acted after the images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body was washed up on a Turkish beach, caused shock around the world.

Yesterday, his father Abdullah laid to rest Aylan, his brother Ghalib and their mother Rehan, all of whom died after their dinghy capsized trying to reach the Greek island of Kos. He said: “I have no future anymore; my future is gone.”

In an article in today’s Herald, the Archbishop says the picture of Aylan was a landmark moment in the crisis, which brought society to its senses.

He notes how sometimes such victims of terrible events become invisible, allowing people to feign ignorance of the human plight of others.

“After seeing that iconic image of little Aylan, that defence of ignorance is gone,” declares the archbishop. “It is time to open our hearts and open our borders.”

The Catholic leader also appears to take a swipe at David Cameron’s approach thus far, saying: “The refugee crisis is a test, not of political shrewdness, but of common humanity... Britain’s policy in the Mediterranean of rescue and deposit elsewhere is mean-spirited and unhelpful to the nations, who are bearing the brunt of the migrations, especially Italy and Greece.”

He welcomes Mr Cameron’s pledge for Britain to take thousands more refugees from the border camps of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan but points out how “no hope” is being offered to those who have already reached Europe.

While on a visit to Portugal and Madrid, the Prime Minister defended his policy thus far and declared: “Britain is a moral country with a moral conscience”.

Although he promised that the UK would take in “thousands more” Syrian refugees from the border camps, he gave no details. These, he said, would come next week following talks with agencies. A House of Commons statement is expected on Monday.

Clearly under pressure to do more in what has become the worst European refugee crisis since World War Two, Mr Cameron explained Britain would approach it with “our head and our heart” to fulfil its moral obligations. To this end, he announced an extra £100 million in humanitarian aid, bringing the UK’s contribution to more than £1 billion.

In the last four years nearly 5000 Syrians have been granted asylum here. The United Nations suggested the UK Government was considering giving sanctuary from the twin horrors of so-called Islamic State and the Assad regime to 4000 additional refugees; but No 10 declined to comment.

In Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon convened a summit of civic groups, including the British Red Cross, Oxfam, Amnesty International and the Scottish Refugee Council, which decided to establish a taskforce to co-ordinate Scotland’s practical response.

Having earlier stated that Scotland would be willing to take in 1000 refugees as a “starting point”, the First Minister said the summit had been clear that the UK Government needed to “play a part in a co-ordinated European response to the problem and agree to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees”.

Ms Sturgeon emphasised how those present at the summit wanted to work constructively with Mr Cameron and his Ministers and she welcomed his announcement about taking in thousands more refugees.

But she stressed: “There has to be much more detail given; for example, we still don’t know how many refugees he is talking about or whether these are just refugees from Syrian camps or those in Europe.”

The First Minister added: “There are not any easy solutions to this but all of us have a responsibility as human beings to recognise the extent of this humanitarian crisis and resolve together to do something about it. If we all play our part, then the totality of that response might just have a chance of dealing effectively with the problem.”

At Westminster, her colleague Angus Robertson, who leads for the SNP in the Commons, announced that his party would devote its Opposition Day debate next Wednesday entirely to the refugee crisis and called on the PM to attend in person.

Claiming Mr Cameron had failed to show any leadership during the refugee crisis, the Nationalist leader added: “We need a full debate in Parliament; the PM must attend to outline the full details of what he is now proposing and to answer the serious questions MPs will have of the Government's record.”

Meantime in Hungary, almost 1000 people decided to abandon Budapest’s main railway station when they discovered the local authority would not put on any trains to Germany and began a 100-mile journey on foot to the Austrian border.

Thirty miles north-west of the capital, hundreds of refugees stranded for more than 24 hours on a train at the town of Bicske decided to end their stand-off with riot police and broke through a cordon to begin their long walk westwards to Austria and onto Germany.

Viktor Orban, the right-wing Prime Minister of Hungary's government, claimed that the reality was that today there were hundreds of thousands of refugees but tomorrow there could be millions.

“All of a sudden," he said, "we will see that we are in a minority in our own continent."