Baftas: Andy Serkis hits out at Priti Patel over Ukraine refugee crisis ...

Andy Serkis hit out at Priti Patel during last night’s Bafta awards ceremony, criticising the home secretary for fostering a “hostile environment” for refugees.

It comes after the home office revealed only 300 visas had been issued out of a total of 17,700 family scheme applications for Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK following the Russian invasion.

The Batman actor, who is perhaps known for playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films, hit out while presenting Best Director during the event on Sunday.

The 57-year-old said: “A world class director is a visionary empowered to change the world with a story that they're burning to tell.

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“Bringing together and leading a huge family of supremely talented strangers on a difficulty and chaotic journey.”

He added: “Whilst hopefully creating an atmosphere that inspires, is inclusive and values every single member of that family equally.

“So it's no surprise that Priti Patel on her debut feature, Hostile Environment, found enormous problems.”

Patel has come in for criticism over recent weeksChristopher Furlong/Getty Images

Serkis went on to say: “And that her follow up movie - All Refugees Are Welcome But Some Are More Welcome Than Others - is a complete nightmare.”

The comments were applauded by the crowd gathered inside London's Royal Albert Hall.

The government’s response over recent weeks has been widely criticised. Refugee charities said the government’s new sponsorship route for Ukrainian refugees falls short of the response required, as fears grow that it will be too “slow and cumbersome” to meet the scale of the crisis.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said he hoped “tens of thousands” would be able to use the route set to be opened up this week, as he announced that local authority areas would get £10,000 per Ukrainian refugee sponsored in their area.

But opposition parties said the scheme – which will also provide £350 per month to Britons who provide homes to Ukrainian refugees – placed too much of the burden on the public and community groups.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said it was time for Boris Johnson to sack home secretary Patel over her department’s handling of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

“Her inaction does not befit the British people, with all our compassion and generosity,” he told his party’s spring conference. “It couldn’t be clearer that Priti Patel is not up to the job. The buck stops with the prime minister. So Boris Johnson must sack her, now.”

The Independent is also raising money for the people of Ukraine – if you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.

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