Camden leader moves to reassure faith groups after Donald Trump sows ‘division and hate’

Cllr Sarah Hayward

Cllr Sarah Hayward - Credit: Nigel Sutton

The leader of Camden Council has written to faith and community groups in the borough to express solidarity in the face of US president Donald Trump’s migration policy.

President Donald Trump Picture: Paco Anselmi/PA

President Donald Trump Picture: Paco Anselmi/PA - Credit: PA

Cllr Sarah Hayward told the groups she regretted that she must write to them again about those “sowing division and hate”, adding: “More alarmingly, this time it is about the actions of the new president of the United States whose recent actions have potentially negative consequences for our residents and our communities”.

Mr Trump announced on Friday last week that he had suspended the US’s refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely banned the arrival of Syrian refugees and suspended for 90 days the arrival of citizens from Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The policy was put in place, Mr Trump said, to protect American citizens from harm.

Cllr Hayward’s letter, sent today, explained that “Camden, like the country, has a proud tradition of welcoming people from all corners of the globe, whether they are fleeing persecution and violence or simply seeking a better life”.

She added: “Diversity is our strength.”

Cllr Hayward also expressed frustration with the Government for its “slowness” in recognising the impact of Mr Trump’s policy on Camden residents and the “wider impact” on communities.

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“People in Camden who came from one of those seven countries, or whose family came from there, must feel dismayed to have been labelled as a terrorist risk because of their religion,” she said.

But Cllr Hayward also said that those in the borough who are “less comfortable with difference” are now more suspicious of their neighbours.

She added: “We have seen before the consequences that this type of rhetoric can have on communities.”

Cllr Hayward also said councillors and officers are “on hand” to help in any way to “preserve and strengthen the diversity we hold so dear in Camden”.

She asked that residents do not hesitate to contact the council if they need assistance.