War refugee mum with newborn baby told to quit East London hostel

A homeless young mum with a five-day-old baby who was refused a home by council officials in London’s East End has had to be moved out of the area after being told to quit a hostel with her newborn son.

Somali war refugee Khadro Diriye, 27, has been told by Tower Hamlets council today that her case is being transferred back to the local authority at Bradford in Yorkshire where she had been staying temporarily when she was given Home Office permission to stay in Britain.

She had no connection with the East End, they told her—despite a cousin living in Whitechapel.

But they offered to take baby Aymen into care after he was born on Sunday at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel—she refused.

Mother and baby were moved out last night to a temporary centre at Ilford after being told by the Shuttleworth hostel in South Hackney to leave.

Tower Hamlets council follows government guidelines when handling housing support claims, it told the East London Advertiser in a statement today.

“We are aware of our responsibility to people with a connection to the borough who present themselves as homeless,” said the statement.

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“She has only recently arrived here from another local authority that has accepted it is their responsibility to provide housing support for her—and not Tower Hamlets.

“We are under no obligation to house Ms Diriye, although we have provided temporary accommodation as required.”

Khadro was meeting Bethnal Green’s MP Rushanara Ali today, with an interpreter from the East End’s Somali Integration centre.

She had arrived from war-torn Somalia in October to escape daily gunfire near her home in Mogadishu.

“I was terrified and came to Britain to protect my unborn child,” she told the Advertiser.

“There were bullets flying every day in my neighbourhood.

“My life was bad—I had fear all the time that I could get shot and had to get away.

“But the hardship here is greater than I imagined—I have no home for my baby.”

Khadro is now in touch with a firm of solicitors in Aldgate who have taken up her case.