MILLIONS of euros of European Union money have already been released to help provide humanitarian aid to refugees from the Iraqi war, York MP Hugh Bayley said today.

Mr Bayley has recently returned from Brussels where he and fellow members of the International Development Select Committee took part in a top-level meeting with EU development commissioner Poul Neilson. He said the EU, which is the world's biggest aid donor, had announced payments of three million euros (about £2m) to both the UN Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross.

The MP, who voted in favour of war with Iraq, said: "That is to deal with the first wave of refugees. Mr Neilson has also announced a further 100 million euros (about £67m) to match the £70m announced by Clare Short for humanitarian relief."