Michael Gove reveals 'Homes for Ukraine' sponsorship scheme
Michael Gove threw a wobbly in the Commons about the UK's response to the Ukraine refugee crisis and everyone is saying the same thing in response.
The communities secretary repeatedly banged on the dispatch box yesterday as he told MPs that he has “had it up to here with people trying to suggest this country is not generous.”
He claimed that “all the stuff about hostile environments” was introduced by a Labour home secretary.
But it was actually his Conservative colleague and former PM Theresa May who introduced the “hostile environment” strategy when she was home secretary as part of her aim to “create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration”.
Former Labour Immigration Minister Liam Byrne mentioned creating a "hostile environment" to make "Britain much less of an attractive place if you are going to come here and break the rules" in 2007, but May implemented it in 2012.
Gove’s tantrum was in response to comments from Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi who told the Commons that “as with previous refugee crisis, the government’s response to the Ukraine crisis has, quite frankly, been pathetic, revealing the true extent of the callousness within this government’s hostile environment policy.”
Michael Gove might not like me pointing out some home truths and that\u2019s why he got all worked up!\n\nBut the harsh reality is that Tory Government\u2019s callous response to the #Ukraine crisis (as with other refugee crises) has quite frankly been pathetic.\n\nWe\u2019re much better than this!pic.twitter.com/guK8rXtkSb
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The Slough MP added: “The only reason, by the way, that we are having such a statement, which in itself is wholly inadequate, is because the government has been dragged kicking and screaming by the opposition, the media and the good British people, who have said that this debacle simply doesn’t represent us.”
Gove hit back by saying: “It’s always the case that more needs to be done at every point when we are dealing with a humanitarian tragedy.”
He continued: “We all recognise that. But I would respectfully say to him two things: this country has taken in people from Syria, from Afghanistan, we are taking people from Ukraine. It is an uncapped scheme.”
As he started banging on the despatch box, the communities secretary went on: “We are going to disagree politically and all the rest of it, but I have just had it up to here with people trying to suggest that this country is not generous.
“All the stuff about hostile environments, the hostile environment was invented under a Labour home secretary. So can we just chuck it when it comes to the partisan nonsense and get on with delivering?”
People on social media were very quick to remind Gove that it wasn’t a Labour home secretary that introduced the “hostile environment” strategy - it was his own colleague.
Michael Gove said it was a Labour Home Secretary that created the hostile environment.\n\nNot true. \n\nTheresa May, Home Secretary at the time, introduced it in 2012, saying: "The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants."https://twitter.com/PoliticsJOE_UK/status/1503415899897966602\u00a0\u2026
Poor @michaelgove *hits desk* has absolutely *hits desk* had enough *hits desk* of people claiming *hits desk harder* that this country *hits desk* is not generous towards refugees. It's the successive governments you have been part of that shame us all, Michael, not our country.https://twitter.com/DebbieLough/status/1503466792819298313\u00a0\u2026
I wonder why Michael Gove. Could it be down to a decade of hotility to refugees perhaps? Or something to do with government plans to push dinghies carrying desperate families around? I've had it up to here too mate - with your hypocrisy.https://twitter.com/Haggis_UK/status/1503413922598162433\u00a0\u2026
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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