Michael Gove mistakenly says 300,000 visas given to Ukrainians
Michael Gove has mistakenly overestimated the UK government's generosity after claiming 300,000 visas had been issued to Ukrainian refugees - when in reality it's a few zeros less at 3,000.
Appearing on Sophie Ridge on Sunday, the levelling up minister made the blunder when discussing how many visas had been given to Ukrainians fleeing their homes amid the Russian invasion.
"Yes, we’ve had more than 300,000 visas that have been issued," he said.
“And of course, it’s important to recognise that from Tuesday – I’m talking about the families – from Tuesday, it will be the case that the majority of people will no longer need to apply for visas at these application centres, we’ll accept Ukrainian passports, people will be able to come into this country.
“And as well as the number of people who are coming in through the family scheme, which has rapidly expanded, as you mentioned right at the beginning of the programme, there’s a new Homes For Ukrainians scheme, which also has no cap to the number of people who can come here.”
Picking up on the large figure, Ridge challenged Gove and asked: “So just to clarify, 300,000 visas, that’s up from 1,305 on Thursday, is that correct?”
Gove then corrected himself and replied: “3,000, more than 3,000 visas, my apologies.”
The presenter continued: “More than 3,000, right. I was going to say, that’s a very fast escalation otherwise.”
“Yes,” he confirmed before taking a nervous sip of his water.
The UK has issued more than 3,000 visas to Ukrainian refugees, says Levelling Up Secretary @michaelgove.\n\nHe originally tells #Ridge that 300,000 had been issued, but then corrects himself.\n\nhttps://trib.al/R9KYc4B\u00a0\n\n Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTubepic.twitter.com/Uot0gk9aRC
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@Sophy Ridge on Sunday)
Viewers also picked up on the gaffe and quickly shared their reactions on Twitter about the mistakenly inflated figure.
BREAKING: Michael Gove says 300,000 visas have been given out to Ukrainians. This slight inaccuracy was only out by a factor of 100. I'm sure everybody who made fun of Diane Abbott for fudging her figures is now going to make fun of Gove for the next 10 years too x
— Laura Kuenssberg Translator (@Laura Kuenssberg Translator)
This won\u2019t become a famous gaffe like Diane Abbott\u2019s numbers mistake though will it? The mind boggles as to why\u2026https://twitter.com/peterstefanovi2/status/1502927723383164931\u00a0\u2026
Excellent news - according to government minister Michael Gove the UK has issued 300,000 visas to Ukrainian refugees\u2026\nUntil he\u2019s asked to confirm that number and it turns out it\u2019s 3000 visas; 0.01% of what he\u2019d just said.pic.twitter.com/mD5UjphVL7
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