Carey Mulligan rallies Britain to do more for children stuck in Syrian conflict

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Britain can lead the way in efforts to address the plight of children caught up in the Syrian conflict, actress Carey Mulligan has said.

Hundreds of people gathered in Whitehall, central London, in a rally calling for the UK Government to take decisive action to end the bloodshed in the war-ravaged country.

The crowd included children wearing "Save Aleppo" t-shirts and other people carrying placards urging a "No bomb zone now", while some flew Syrian flags.

Carey leaves a teddy at Downing Street.
Carey leaves a teddy at Downing Street (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Carey joined the demonstration just opposite the gates to Downing Street, where teddy bears were later laid in a poignant message from campaigners about the human cost of the long-running conflict.

A small light brown-coloured teddy belonging to The Great Gatsby star's one-year-old daughter Evelyn was among the pile, and the actress told how becoming a parent has motivated her further to raise awareness and try to help.

She said: "I brought one of my daughter's teddy bears here today and ever since having my child - I've worked with War Child for a couple of years now - but since having my daughter it just drives home even more how unimaginable it would be for my daughter to be in any of these situations and to have to deal with any of this.

Children join the protest with banners and signs.
Children join the protest with banners and signs (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

"It just really drives me to speak out and do more if I can."

She described the demonstration as the opportunity to "stand up and say that we need to do something real".

Carey, an ambassador for War Child, has previously spoken out to say the inaction in Calais where many unaccompanied refugee children became stranded in the so-called Jungle camp, made her ashamed to be British.

Carey is an active campaigner for War Child.
Carey is an active campaigner for War Child (Robin Bell/PA)

Regarding the arrival of young refugees in Croydon in recent days, she said: "I feel very proud to be British in this regard. We have made a strong stance this week."

She added: "I think we really can lead the way here and we can lead people and work with our international allies to come up with a really robust plan to finally put this to an end."

She recalled the night-time ritual of putting her daughter to bed and told the crowd gathered: "I'm safe in the knowledge that when I put Evie down to bed she is safe. The parents in Aleppo aren't. They don't know what the night will bring."