UK
07/09/2015 20:51 BST | Updated 08/09/2015 14:59 BST

Refugee Crisis: David Cameron's Pledge To Take Fleeing Syrians Brutally Dissected On Social Media

Social media users have torn in to David Cameron, ripping apart the Prime Minister's speech on Monday which heralded Britain as a 'morally responsible' nation for reluctantly agreeing to take 4,000 Syrian refugees a year until 2020.

The Conservative leader U-turned spectacularly this week, saying he would lead a "national effort" to extend help to those fleeing war, destitution, and a human rights abusing regime, after having previously refused to take a significant chunk of the thousands heading desperately for Europe.

Some took contention with the number of refugees Cameron claimed Britain would take, others with the manner of his pledge on MPs' first day back after the Summer recess.

Comedian David Schneider began mocking Cameron by referencing one of his own previous phrases, a nod to the time he referred to desperate migrants in Calais as a "swarm".

One journalist broke down the total number of refugees Cameron had committed the UK to as a per constituency, per year figure.

That number was six.

Others - including a Labour MP - compared the annual 4,000 amount to Germany, who announced they were committing to 15,000 - every week.

Swathes of social media commentators also pointed out the conflation of Cameron's hotly-anticipated refugee figure announcement with the reveal that RAF forces had carried out air-strikes and killed a Welsh-born and high-profile 'Isis' member, who had been planing to kill a British citizen.

The Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire called Cameron's switch between the two "clunky".

Other commenters exposed the split even within the Conservatives over the issue.

One Tory MP, Philip Davies, who last week called a woman "pathetic" and accused her of having a "trendy left wing view" in an argument over the refugee crisis, reportedly spoke out again in Monday's debate.

The Shipley representative urged his party's leader to listen to the "silent majority" and ignore "emotional craving" to make himself be seen as compassionate to refugees.

The Prime Minister's drastic change in position over how many refugees Britain should take followed the global outcry after harrowing photos of the body of drowned three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach. The harrowing pictures, which were widely published, galvanised public opinion around the issue.

Since March 2014, Britain has housed only 216 Syrian refugees. But Kurdi's death last week sparked a petition calling for more people fleeing their war-torn home nation to be taken in, which at one point was garnering over 100 signatures a minute.

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