THE SNP has urged British authorities to step up their humanitarian efforts after it emerged the Home Office would fail fill to meet a commitment to resettle 3,000 refugee children by 2020.

New figures show that by September a total of 1,712 vulnerable children had been resettled across the UK – well below the target.

SNP MP Stuart McDonald contrasted the British performance with that of Scotland.

He said 3,240 Syrian refugees of all ages have been resettled in Scotland, after fleeing conflict in their home country, since 2014.

The Scottish Government welcomed the 2,000th Syrian refugee at the end of 2017, meeting its Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme target three years ahead of schedule.

UK officials say their resettlement scheme is one of the world’s best but stresses it also has other ways of protecting refugees.

Mr McDonald said: “Scotland has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into our communities. Our society has always been enriched by welcoming those in need.

“Inclusivity and compassion should be the driving principles of our humanitarian efforts.

“Most of us cannot begin to imagine the hardship faced by those who have had their safety, freedom and way of life uprooted by conflict and violence beyond their control.

“The ‘hostile environment’, the Windrush scandal, the ‘Go Home’ vans, inhumane lock-change evictions, detention of children and pregnant women at Dungavel – these are the legacies of an uncaring and poisonous immigration agenda and failed asylum system imposed by successive callous Tory governments.

“The Tories look set to have fallen well short of their target to resettle refugee children – the most vulnerable people imaginable.”

The SNP numbers refer to resettled refugees rather than those who claim asylum in the UK.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Since 2010 we have granted asylum, resettlement or an alternative form of protection to over 100,000 people, including granting protection to 41,000 vulnerable children.

“In fact, since 2016, the UK has resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU state and we will continue to do all we can to help the world’s most vulnerable.

“Protecting vulnerable children remains our priority and we continue to work with a wide range of local authorities to increase the number of areas that accommodate and support people seeking asylum.”

Officials said the UK had committed £2.81 billion in response to the Syria crisis, its largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.

The spokeswoman added: “Our aid provides life-saving support to millions of Syrians, supporting refugees to remain in countries in the region, and enabling their host communities to accommodate them.

“We are supporting the governments of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to cope with a protracted refugee presence, and enable Syrian refugees to remain in the region until they can return safely to Syria.”