Tyne & Wear

Chi Onwurah hits out at Syrian refugee meme kitchen find

Syrian meme Image copyright Chi Onwurah
Image caption The meme was stuck to a cupboard in a communal kitchen

An MP has hit out at those responsible for putting up a poster mocking Syrian refugees in a parliament building.

Chi Onwurah, who represents Newcastle Central for Labour described the find as "upsetting".

The image was stuck to a cupboard in a communal kitchen in an MPs' building opposite the House of Commons.

It shows an elderly man, with the message: "Just £3 from you could clothe and feed this 12-year-old Syrian child for a week".

Ms Onwurah tweeted: "Upset someone in Parliament thought it funny to display this in the communal kitchen over the weekend."

The shadow business and energy minister said she would be writing to the Serjeant at Arms of the House of Commons.

Image copyright Labour Party
Image caption Chi Onwurah has represented Newcastle upon Tyne Central since 2010

She said: "If it was in a building where the public goes it would have been offensive, but it could have been anybody.

"Here it must have been someone who has a parliamentary pass, who lives or works here.

"It was sellotaped onto a cupboard above the kitchen sink, not just left lying around for someone to have a chuckle over - it was definitely there to make a point.

"There are obviously challenges around migration in Europe with the war in Syria, it's so upsetting in itself, and frustrating in terms of what we can do.

"But these are human beings, not to be demonised, reduced to a meme.

"If people want to have a laugh or a joke they should do that in their own office, this is a working space.

"I do find it offensive, I don't want those attitudes in my working environment, and shouldn't have to see that when I go to make a cup of coffee, or tea."

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