A city businessman says it is his moral duty to pledge 50 homes to help the Middle Eastern refugees.

Raja Khan, of Aspire Supported Living, has promised Birmingham City Council he will provide accommodation and support such as English lessons, mental health services and training for to 50 families settle.

A former developer of luxury homes, Mr Khan created Aspire to help vulnerable people, including those fleeing persecution in Albania, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

He said: "I am not so concerned with the politics of it.

"We can't have kids washing up on the shores, kids being blown up. We will do what we can.

"We always ask how would we feel if it was us being bombed out of our homes, how would we cope.

"This is why mental health support is also important. They have seen such horrors, their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters raped or killed."

Handsworth-based Aspire works with landlords and property owners across several towns and cities including Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester and Derby – and has renovated derelict and unwanted empty homes for refugees and the homeless in the past.

The company also works with the National Asylum Service and other public agencies to provide training, education and jobs for tenants.

Mr Khan said in his experience a large number of those making it to Birmingham would return to their home country once the conflict subsided as he witnessed after the wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq.

He also challenged those who say that efforts should be concentrated on vulnerable British people.

"We treat people as individuals in need. Each case is different. Ethically and morally it is up to us to help all people we can. We help British soldiers and homeless and we support refugees. It is not one or the other, it is both," he added.