Yesterday, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, set out a new route open to provide sanctuary to Ukrainian refugees. However, I, and my co-signatories from yesterday’s letter, pressed the Government to do more as, in our judgement, the official position yesterday did not go far enough. (Please see letter from previous post-www.facebook.com/AaronBell4NUL/posts/376381927647309)
Therefore I am pleased that the Home Secretary, in a statement today, confirmed that the scheme will be expanded to every Ukrainian with a family link to the UK. The definition has been extended to cover parents, grandparents, adult offspring, siblings and their immediate family members.
The Home Secretary also announced that the Government will establish a humanitarian sponsorship pathway, which will open up a route to the UK for Ukrainians who may not have family ties with the UK but who are able to match with individuals, charities, businesses, and community groups.
What is happening in Ukraine is utterly heart-breaking and profoundly wrong. I am glad that the Government has listened to mine and my colleagues’ concerns.
Also in Parliament today, there was a short ceremony led by the Speaker’s Chaplain which was followed by the first signing of our Book of Solidarity for Ukraine. Both as a Parliamentarian and as the representative of Newcastle-under-Lyme, I was proud to sign the Book of Solidarity, which will be sent to the Ukrainian Parliament.