The UK government is being urged by an SNP MSP to use around 100 derelict homes to house refugees fleeing the situation in Afghanistan.

The empty houses, which are mostly situated at Prestwick Airport, were formerly used as accommodation for Ministry of Defence (MoD) staff.

Ayr MSP, Siobhian Brown, says the empty houses can be used to house hundreds of families in South Ayrshire and that the area is ready to accept and welcome Afghan families.

The homes have been left empty ever since the helicopter search and rescue operation HMS Gannet was decommissioned in 2016.

Commenting, Siobhian Brown said: “The UK government should be maximising every opportunity it can to find a home for Afghan refugees fleeing a horrific situation. In South Ayrshire, we currently have around 100 homes that are still owned by the MoD but no one has lived in them for five years.

“This is an opportunity for the UK government to show its compassion for refugees coming from Afghanistan that they are able to provide them a safe and warm home where they can start to rebuild their lives.

“The UK government must take its share of the responsibility for creating this situation and using disused MoD homes will provide them with an option of how to home a number of families who have had their lives turned upside down.

“Boris Johnson should commit to increasing the number of refugees that the UK brings in and maximising derelict sites like the one at Prestwick airport will allow the UK to take in more refugees and take responsibility for the situation.”

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An MoD spokesperson said: “Work is underway across the whole of government to ensure that those Afghan nationals who stood side by side with us in conflict, their families, and those at highest risk who have been evacuated, are supported as they now rebuild their lives in the UK.

“We continue to work closely with the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government, the Home Office, and devolved administrations to identify how we can best assist, to ensure that these families are housed in areas in which they can easily access services they need.”