Stephen Timms has signed an asylum election pledge, sponsored by Liberty, the Refugee Council and the Scottish Refugee Council. The pledge calls on Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to "...remember Britain's history as a place of refuge for the persecuted."
The pledge reads:
"There is no place for racism and xenophobia in modern British politics. Nor is democratic debate advanced by the denigration of the most vulnerable in our country, including children and asylum seekers who do not enjoy the right to participate in elections.
I promise to remember the importance of refugee protection, even in free and wide-ranging debates about immigration policy. I will never play fast and loose with the proud tradition of a nation that must always offer succour to those in genuine fear of persecution."
Speaking afterwards, Mr Timms said: "Issues like immigration and asylum should never be treated as a political football. This pledge highlights the importance to protect those who come to the UK expecting to be treated as human beings. This country has a proud tradition in providing sanctuary and assistance to those fleeing persecution and it is my hope that future debates about this subjected are conducted in a proper manner."