EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Humanitarian response is far cry from that of Government

On Tuesday, MPs heard directly from President Zelensky of Ukraine, a truly courageous leader with a deep love for his country and people.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 12:00 am
the Home Secretary, as she did with those feeling terror in Afghanistan, has responded to this refugee crisis with characteristic inertia.
the Home Secretary, as she did with those feeling terror in Afghanistan, has responded to this refugee crisis with characteristic inertia.

On Wednesday, during PMQs we heard more bluff, bluster and spin from the Prime Minister of the UK.

Not only was the UK Government painfully slow with Russian sanctions, the Home Secretary, as she did with those feeling terror in Afghanistan, has responded to this refugee crisis with characteristic inertia.

Russian troops were amassed at the Ukrainian border long before war broke out. There was time to prepare a humane response to this refugee crisis where over 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine in Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since the Second World War.

The UK Government’s response to this has been to send desperate, frightened people to Visa Application Centres (VAC) that are unstaffed or closed, some with a note on the door directing them to other centres miles away.

Even the staffed centres have shut their doors and people are being directed to booking appointments and making their applications online only. For those without internet access, no one has been able to advise how they can apply. For those who do obtain a visa, when they arrive in the UK no one has been able to say where they will be accommodated or what support will be in place.

It is little wonder this week that MPs across the House, including many Tory MPs, demanded the Home Secretary’s resignation over this chaos and her repeated misleading of the House, claiming staff were in the Calais VAC and that there was a VAC in Lille, both statements untrue.

The Prime Minister claimed his Government’s approach was “very, very generous”, that Britain has resettled more vulnerable people than any other European country. The Home Secretary claimed: “This is a generous, expansive and unprecedented package.”

Britain has issued 500 Visas, Ireland has accepted over 2,000 refugees, France 2, 500 and Germany 30,000.

I have been inundated with kind constituents wanting to help Ukrainians, their humanitarian response is a far cry from the lies, chaos, spin and callousness of this Government.