Michael Gove reveals 'Homes for Ukraine' sponsorship scheme
Independent

Labour's Wes Streeting had the perfect response to a Tory MP who complained she was "disappointed" by criticisms of their immigration policy.

During a heated clash on BBC Question Time, the shadow health minister told attorney general Suella Braverman that the Conservative government had been "slow and obstructive" for the last 12 years with regards to immigration after she defended security checks and said some people pretend to be refugees and "play the system to get here illegally".

"We want to of course support families," she said but added they need "the Ukrainian government's consent before we take an unaccompanied child" for security reasons.

"I am very disappointed by the suggestion that there's been some kind of inhumane approach here by the UK government."

This was when Streeting bit back. "It's basically been your immigration policy for 12 years," he interrupted. "You've been deliberately slow, deliberately obstructive because you hope that other people will carry the burden instead. That's been the government's approach all the way along, of course, it has."

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The audience applauded Streeting but Braverman disagreed and said "we have a track record of which I'm incredibly proud, whether it's the Ukrainian refugees... whether it's the Afghans, whether it's Syrians...

"My father actually was a refugee, I am the daughter of a refugee so you don't have to tell me about the generosity of the British people."

The panel had been discussing the government's response to Ukrainian refugees which includes the 'Homes for Ukraine' policy which allows members of the public to open their homes to people fleeing the war-torn country.

The scheme came amid criticism that the government had not yet done enough to support refugees. While the EU has temporarily waived visas to allow displaced Ukrainians to enter their respective countries, the UK previously had only committed to allowing those with familiar links to enter the country.

A member of the audience said the scheme had been slow, while another said security checks were not "empathetic" and instead were "inhumane".

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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