Help Jews in Yemen asks MP

The government has been asked to look at what steps can be taken to help Yemeni Jews escape the Middle East and settle in Britain.

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, raised the plight of around 70 Jews in the Arabian peninsula during Home Office questions in the Commons.

They have links to families already living in Britain, and are among around 200 Jewish families left in Yemen.

The MP asked what could be done to facilitate visa applications for those living in the town of Raydah, around 50 miles north of the capital, Sana'a.

He said political unrest, and the growing threat of Islamist extremists, meant many Jewish families feared for their lives and had been waiting "months" for visas. A number have had to go to the British embassy in Cairo to have their applications processed.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said he was aware of the issue.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell this week announced new British aid for Yemen's humanitarian crisis.

Funds will go towards tackling child malnutrition, dehydration of under-fives and vaccinations for children.

Mr Freer said: "History has taught us that when Jewish families are in danger, the very worst outcome is possible."

Last updated: 1:48pm, May 19 2011