It was extremely moving to listen to President Zelenskyy address the House of Commons. His leadership, courage and resolve is extraordinary and humbling.
The war in Ukraine has already led to millions of civilians being displaced. In recent days we have seen shocking scenes of barbaric cruelty by Putin’s forces and people across Ukraine are fleeing to safety. The UK Government has been too slow to respond to the humanitarian crisis, issuing just a tiny fraction of the number of visas issued by other European countries, with Ukrainians seeking to be reunited with family members in the UK, with no scheme currently open for those who do not already have family members here.
The Government has announced that a community sponsorship scheme will be set up but has yet to provide details to sponsorship groups across the country.
Community sponsorship is a valued and important route to sanctuary in the UK and I am proud that our local area has welcomed several families through the current scheme. However, it can take many months for community groups to raise the required funding and for applications to be processed. Today I called on the Immigration Minister to confirm when the scheme would open and what he is doing to ensure it is fit for purpose for the current emergency in Ukraine >>