Ukraine calls on NATO to do more as war enters second month

Comedian Dom Joly has slammed the government over its treatment of Ukrainian refugees.

Speaking on BBC Question Time, Joly said the requirement for Ukrainians to have visas was "ridiculous" and also highlighted the difference in the treatment of Ukrainian refugees compared to Syrians and Afghans.

He said: “Firstly, this government seems to ... well, its supporters mainly, seem to have an anti-refugee, anti-immigrant feeling and so I think they feed off that, they feel that is the way to go.

“And certainly they have been incredibly confused by the fact that people seem to be incredibly sympathetic towards Ukrainian refugees and I cannot, for the life of me, see what the difference is between Ukrainian refugees and Syrians and Afghans. Well, actually, I can and I think that is one of the reasons, for instance, that there were no visa offices set up at Calais because they did not want the wrong sort of refugee or immigrant turning up.”

"Why are we the only country asking people to have visas? There was this ridiculous excuse that somehow some of these people might be spies or they might be secret agents.

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"That doesn't seem to affect any other country so why are we so special?

"I think it's disgusting the way we treat it, I really do."

Responding, security minister Damian Hinds said a report detailing the figures about the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme has yet to be published, but “thousands” of Ukrainians with family links have been given visas.

He said: “Everybody recognises that there is the most enormous humanitarian emergency going on. We are a warm-hearted, kind-hearted nation, and we must do not only our share, but we want to do more than our share.”

Elsewhere on the show, a Tory voter didn't appear to agree with Hinds' assessment and slammed the Tories over the "mess" they have made in government and expressed regret for voting for them.

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. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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