EDINBURGH council leader Adam McVey has insisted he will personally make sure the authority properly looks after Shabaz Ali, the Syrian refugee stabbed in an allegedly racially aggravated attempted murder.

The intervention of the administration chief followed concerns from MSPs and refugee organisations that Ali and his family had been neglected, and were caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare stopping them from moving into a new home.

Robina Qureshi, from Positive Action in Housing (PAIH), who has been working with the family, said Ali’s father, Sivan had asked to be allowed into the new accommodation to tidy and furnish the rooms before his son was discharged, but had been told no by the authority.

Qureshi questioned why the council needed “to drag a seriously ill Shabaz Ali out of a hospital to sign for the temporary flat”.

Qureshi said: “Certainly this debacle is a clear example of how ordinary people are debilitated rather than enabled when they seek local authority assistance.

“Shabaz’s father and every person in need out there is not looking for ‘handouts’, they are looking for assistance so that they never have to ask for help again, so they can get the basic building blocks of their life right.”

She added: “We are talking about human beings, not a herd inconveniencing the Edinburgh City council system. Bottom line – if your system can’t cope with human problems, change it.”

Green MSP Andy Wightman, who raised the case in the Scottish Parliament last week, said the case exposed much wider failings.

“It is absolutely appalling what this young man and his family have gone through in the last week,” he said.

“At last Thursday’s First Minister’s Questions, the First Minister responded to my question about the attack on Mr Ali by saying that, ‘We want Scotland to be – and to be seen to be – a refuge from war and persecution … The Scottish Government will do what we can, with the local authority in Edinburgh and other groups, to provide as much reassurance and support as possible.’ Clearly that means providing appropriate accommodation.

Wightman continued: “However, the difficulties faced by Mr Ali’s father ... suggest that the City of Edinburgh Council is failing in its duty to house vulnerable refugees. Why did Mr Ali’s father face so many unnecessary barriers when all he wanted to do was to create a safe and welcoming environment for his son to recover from this most malicious of criminal acts?

“The current systems in place to house vulnerable people, including refugees, in Edinburgh need to be rapidly re-assessed. I am shocked by reports of the treatment Mr Ali’s family received.”

McVey said Edinibugh Council had “done everything we possibly can to ensure that Shabaz Ali is given the support he needs in his current circumstances”.

He added: “I personally visited the flat he will be moving into this afternoon and found it to be clean and fully furnished. I also spoke to his father about any issues he had with the property and have since given him assurance that he will be given access to the property in the morning and at other times if required.

“This will allow him to add any final personal touches he feels he would like to add. I will ensure that Shabaz is fully supported when he moves into the property and I wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

Two weeks ago, Ali was staying in a Fountainbridge hostel, where he’d been placed by the council until permanent accommodation became available.

It’s alleged that in the early hours of Thursday, May 3, he was stabbed six times.

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested and was remanded in custody.