‘Are you not ashamed?’: Chris Bryant attacks Liz Truss over Ukrainian refugees ...
Independent

Liz Truss has been slammed by a Labour MP over the government's record on Ukrainian refugees.

At a foreign affairs select committee, the foreign secretary was scrutinised by chair Chris Bryant who suggested she should be "ashamed" about the number of refugees the country has taken in as the war in Russia continues.

Bryant said to Truss: “Are you not ashamed by that?”

She replied: “The home secretary has announced two routes, one is the family route, the other is the sponsorship route.

“I know the Home Office is working very hard to issue visas.”

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The Labour MP continued: “So you’re not ashamed that other countries are taking in tens and tens of thousands, and we, who have known longer than any other countries that this was going to happen and should have been preparing for it – and your department should have been preparing for it – we’ve only managed to give out 50 visas so far.”

The UK has been criticised for its scheme as it only permits Ukrainians with close family members to enter the UK. In contrast, other countries like those in the European Union have temporarily waived visas for those fleeing the conflict.

Latest statements from the government show that 10,000 applications for refugees to come to the UK via the Ukraine Family Scheme had been submitted since Friday - but that only 760 visas had been issued.

Germany has taken over 50,000.

Truss replied: ″I can assure you Chris that we have been preparing for it, we’ve been preparing for it since well before the end of last year.

“That’s where we sent our forward location deployment teams to locations in Poland, Slovakia, to provide direct support to people leaving Ukraine.”

She added multiple times that the issue was a matter for the home secretary - Priti Patel, but that didn't convince the Labour MP.

“Passing the buck really doesn’t work as a government minister," Bryant replied. "It really doesn’t. You’re all part of the same government.”

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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