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Faith Communities — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:05 pm on 29th May 2012.

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Photo of Lord Popat Lord Popat Conservative 12:05 pm, 29th May 2012

My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, for bringing this topic before the House.

I pay tribute to the faith leaders, groups and communities who have welcomed strangers with open arms in their hour of need and who have helped to make Britain and the Commonwealth a home to those strangers. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of tens of thousands of Asians from Uganda, many of whom arrived here penniless and were entirely reliant on the generosity and kindness of the British Government and our faith communities. Faith communities of all religions and denominations, particularly a large number of Christian organisations and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have helped Ugandan Asians in Britain, from the handing out of overcoats at the airport to the support we have had in developing and integrating our community. We have been blessed to receive such support. In the year in which we celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, I wish to say one simple thing to all those communities who, through compassion and love, have helped my fellow Ugandans to find a home: thank you.