Howard rules out helping Afghan refugee

OPPOSITION leader Michael Howard was today unable to intervene in the case of Afghan refugee Naematullah Rahmati who faces eviction from Britain at any time.

OPPOSITION leader Michael Howard was today unable to intervene in the case of Afghan refugee Naematullah Rahmati who faces eviction from Britain at any time.

Mr Rahmati, of Victoria Street, Ipswich is known as Matt to his friends in Ipswich. He arrived in Britain from Afghanistan as a 16-year-old after his father was shot by the Taliban.

Now 21-years-old, he is married to an Ipswich woman, works as a mechanic, and is described by everyone who knows him as a credit to society.

But the Home Office say it is now safe for him to return to Afghanistan and must leave this country - even though the Foreign Office say Afghanistan is too dangerous for them to open their embassy in the capital Kabul.

Mr Rahmati's case has attracted widespread support, and we sent details of it to Mr Howard's office.

However the Tory leader - a former Home Secretary - said he was not able to get involved in individual cases.

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He did not favour changing regulations so refugees could apply for migrant worker status while living and working in this country.

He said: "There are rules in this situation."

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy also heard of Mr Rahmati's case and said it showed up a fundamental flaw in some people's conception of migrant workers.

"The fact is that we need people to come here to work - people like Matt have much to give to society and we should be helping them do that not make life difficult for them.

"There are many industries and services which would collapse without people coming from other countries and we need to be more understanding about that," he said.