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Welsh Labour MP ‘frankly feels ashamed’ of the UK’s response to Ukraine’s refugee crisis

07 Mar 2022 3 minute read
Left, Nia Griffith. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0). Right, Russian military vehichles destroyed in Ukraine. Picture by Міністерство внутрішніх справ України (CC BY 4.0).

A Welsh Labour MP has said that she “frankly feel rather ashamed of the UK” after it was revealed that only 50 applications for Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK had been processed.

Speaking on Westminster Hour, Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said that many of her constituents had written to her expressing their disappointment that they were not being allowed to help in taking people fleeing the Russian invasion of the country.

She added that many Ukrainians would want to come to the UK as their second or third language was English. Some 18% of Ukrainians can speak English.

I mean, first of all, we’ve heard that only 50 applications have been processed but that 5000 have actually been completed online and another 11,000 have been started online,” Nia Griffith said. “So quite clearly there are people who would like to come here.

“And I do think that we have a responsibility to share the burden with Poland and the other neighbouring countries that have got nearly 700,000 Ukrainians who arrived literally in the last week.

“And although it could be very convenient for some of them to want to stay close, we have seen on our television screens how many of them are confident about using English and they may find it comforting to be in a country where they can understand the language and so I think we do have something to offer them.

“And as they all have ID cards it should not be difficult to simply record and process people as they come here. And I’m sure that that could be done very successfully.

“And I do quite frankly feel rather ashamed of the UK as to many of my constituents who have written to me who’ve made all sorts of offers to take in Ukrainians themselves, and are seeing other European countries bear the brunt of the work and would like to share that.”


Speaking earlier today Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemed to play down a suggestion by Home Secretary Priti Patel that individuals would no longer need family links to come to the UK.

Speaking to reporters at RAF Northolt, he told the press: “Clearly this, this crisis, is evolving the whole time. I’ve said before that the UK will be as generous as we can possibly be and we intend to do that.

“We have two very, very generous routes already – so the family reunion route, which is uncapped, which could potentially see hundreds of thousands of people come to this country, plus the humanitarian route.

“Under that scheme, people can sponsor people coming from Ukraine.”

Speaking on Sky News, Europe minister James Cleverly said that the figure seemed “small” but that more applications were being processed.

“We have made it absolutely clear we want to support Ukrainians who are seeking refuge, both those who have family connections here in the UK and, indeed, those who don’t,” he said.

“Over the last 10 days or so we have seen huge numbers of people leaving Ukraine, fleeing from the conflict, we will support them in the places that they currently are – which is typically in countries bordering Ukraine.

“But we will, of course, also welcome Ukrainians here to the UK.”

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2 years ago

Despite the words coming from UK government, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, that they are doing everything possible to allow Ukrainian refugees access to our shores the reality shows what amounts to a callous disregard and a total lack of action in deliberately blocking and delaying what they have said they will implement.
It brings shame on the whole country and the UK government should be treating this with the urgency that is needed and stop putting unnecessary obstacles in the way of these refugees.

2 years ago

This is exactly what I would expect from this Gov. It hurts to say, I am not surprised, but I also feel shame, although I am helpless to do anything, and have had no part to play in putting this disgusting bunch of callous corrupt narcissist in power.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

Fifty seems a pitifully small number when there are thousands of dodgy Russians in England and thousands of Russian mafioso children in private schools in the UK. It would be common decency to allow in the same numbers of war refugees but they can’t pay as well.

2 years ago

Cleverly? Should change his name to James Stupidly!
How was that man ever made a Lt.Colonel?

2 years ago

Yes. I’m ashamed of the UK response too. But Boris is a pet of the Russian president.

The Labour MP should ALSO be ashamed of her party’s stated aim of undermining Welsh devolution. Seems there’s only ONE referendum that gets respected any more and that’s the stupid one

2 years ago

These are genuine refugees, not economic migrants. A bit of Christian kindness from the Eton set wouldn’t go amiss.

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