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Birmingham 2022 organisers called to distance themselves from Nick Timothy following support for government's refugee exile plans

CULTURAL unions and the TUC have called on regional leaders to distance themselves from Nick Timothy, a director for Birmingham 2022, and his claim that the government’s plan to send refugees to Rwanda is a “real achievement for Priti Patel.”

In a letter to John Crabtree OBE, chair of Birmingham 2022, the unions describe the refugee policy as a “source of shame” and say such a divisive policy risks undermining the unity that has seen the region fully back the Commonwealth Games.

The letter points out the contrast between the diverse West Midlands and the aim of the Games to “reach out across the globe with open arms” with the “toxic” support for the government’s controversial Rwandan refugee policy of Mr Timothy.

The letter calls on leaders “involved with the Commonwealth Games to distance themselves from both Nick Timothy’s statement and the government’s approach to refugees.”

The full text of the letter to John Crabtree OBE, chairman, Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 reads:

Dear John

It’s beyond disappointing that Nick Timothy, a director for Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games, has chosen to praise the government’s plan to send those seeking refuge in the UK to Rwanda.

The policy is quite simply a source of shame to the UK and for all those who care about human life, social justice, equality and inclusion. It has been strongly criticised by human rights, political and religious organisations and no person concerned about social justice should support.

Refugees are some of the most desperate of people fleeing terrible conflict in their home country. The misdirection about “economic migrants” is being used to delegitimise the plight of refugees in order to justify increasingly draconian asylum policies.

The Commonwealth Games, quite rightly, seeks to reach out across the globe with open arms. And we are delighted that our vibrant, multicultural, diverse West Midlands will be hosting this year.  As unions in the region we have been proud to support the Commonwealth Games and have been pleased with the engagement of the Games with unions in a spirit of co-operation and unity. However, for Nick Timothy to support such a toxic approach to refugees is appalling, stokes division and sends all the wrong signals about what our region represents.

We reject division and we call on other leaders involved with the Commonwealth Games to distance themselves from both Nick Timothy’s statement and the government’s approach to refugees.

Lee Barron, TUC Midlands

Mick Corfield, Bectu, A sector of Prospect, Midlands Region

Ian Bayes, Equity – Midlands Region

Stephen Brown, Musicians Union – Midlands Region

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