REFUGEES from troubled Afghanistan may be rehomed in the Bournemouth conurbation, as part of the UK’s commitment to resettle up to 20,000 Afghans.

BCP Council has confirmed it is considering the Home Office scheme, which aims to resettle Afghan nationals across the UK who are at risk due to the current crisis.

A spokesman for BCP Council confirmed the authority is “currently in discussions with south west councils on behalf of the Home Office and are considering the resettlement request at this time".

This follows a government announcement made on Tuesday August 18 that some 20,000 Afghans are to be welcomed to the UK in coming years as part of a scheme to provide sanctuary for those most at risk of persecution by the Taliban.

Boris Johnson has promised that up to 5,000 Afghans can find refuge in the UK this year, with up to 20,000 in the longer term.

Conservative MP for Bournemouth West Conor Burns said: “People around the world have been deeply concerned by events in Afghanistan following President Biden’s decision to withdraw the forces that were enabling stable Government there.

“We have a moral obligation to those who risked their lives helping the allied mission.

“I’m pleased the Government is introducing a scheme to offer sanctuary here.

“Obviously we will need the 339 local councils in England and the devolved administrations to organise provision on the ground.”

A spokesperson from the Refugee Council said: “At this point in time there are no details as to how the scheme will operate, though the expectation is that local authorities will be asked to put forward a commitment as to how many people they could take.”

The new Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will target women, children, and others who have been forced to flee their home or face threats of persecution from the Taliban. Priority will be given to women and girls, and religious and other minorities.

The Government said the new scheme was in addition to the 5,000 Afghans already expected to move to the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), which is designed to offer local allies such as interpreters, priority relocation to the UK.

The new route was modelled on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, which resettled 20,000 Syrian refugees over a seven-year period from 2014 to 2021.

When Parliament was recalled on Wednesday 18, MP for Bournemouth East, Tobias Ellwood described the events in Afghanistan.

He said: “It is with utter disbelief seeing us make such an operational and strategic blunder by retreating at this time.

“A decision that’s already triggering a humanitarian disaster, a migrant crisis not seen since the Second World War and a cultural change in rights to women, and once again turning Afghanistan into a breeding ground for terrorism.

“I’m sorry there’s no vote here today because I believe the Government would not have the support of the House. The future’s very much more unpredictable because of our actions.”

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “The scenes in Afghanistan are heart-breaking and very distressing. We’re waiting for further details from the government about the new Afghanistan citizen’s resettlement scheme and the role that Dorset Council might play in this, so cannot provide any further information at this stage.

“Discussions are also ongoing with the South West Migration Partnership about how we can offer help and support through the government’s existing Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme.”