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Welsh MP slams Priti Patel over UK’s Ukrainian refugee response

08 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photo PA Images

A Welsh MP has criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel for the time it is taking for Ukrainian refugees to be allowed into the UK.

Around 12,000 people had arrived in the UK under Ukraine visa schemes as of Tuesday, according to Home Office figures.

Some 10,800 people had arrived under the Ukraine family scheme but only 1,200 had made it to the UK as part of the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, provisional data published on the department’s website shows.

As of Thursday, about 79,800 applications had been submitted to the schemes and 40,900 visas had been granted.

Of these, 43,600 applications were for the sponsorship scheme, with 12,500 visas issued.

Out of 36,300 requests made for family visas, 28,500 had been approved.

In a TV interview earlier today, the minister apologised “with frustration” over the delays but denied visa requirements and checks are slowing the process.

Describing her response as a “non-apology” which helps no-one, Liz Saville Roberts the group leader of Plaid Cymru in the House of Commons,  said it was the Home Secretary’s “burdensome visa requirements” which were responsible for the hold ups, adding:  “The only response we need from her today is to scrap all visa requirements for refugees, in line with the refugee convention.”


Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey called on Ms Patel to resign over her “failure” to help those fleeing Ukraine with effective refugee schemes.

He claimed the Government was “squandering” the “amazing generosity” of Britons who had offered up their homes to Ukrainians with “needless bureaucracy and delays”, later adding on Twitter: “An apology isn’t enough. She must resign.”

Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, described the figures as “scandalous and shameful”, claiming thousands of people are “stuck in limbo” as she called on Ms Patel to “account for this national disgrace”.

Ms Patel said it is “always easy to blame someone else” but security checks “are not the problem” when it comes to the time it is taking for Ukrainian refugees to reach the UK.

After being told by the BBC there is “huge frustration” among the public who are experiencing three-to-four-week delays and are blaming red tape for being unable to put people up, she replied: “They’re not seeing delays.

“We are processing and, as I’ve said as well, I’m streamlining processes.

“I streamlined the family scheme in less than a week, and we simplified that and we changed the way certain checks are done.

“Also, I’m working to automate where we can.”

Asked why Britain is playing “catch up” with other countries, Ms Patel said comparisons with EU members are not “like for like”.

“We want to give people the status and security of coming to our country along with the warm welcome… We have to ensure that they are protected and safeguarded in the United Kingdom as well”, she added.

A Government spokeswoman said: “In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion we have launched one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history.

“In just four weeks, over 40,000 visas have been issued so people can rebuild their lives in the UK.”

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Priti Patel is the daughter of Pakistani economic migrants that arrived in England penniless. She typifies the ladder climber who once on its steps deliberately stands on the fingers and kicks the hands away of ones below similarly fleeing hunger war and oppression around the world like her parents did. She disgusts me. Priti by name, ugly by nature.

2 years ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I don’t think they were penniless! They got out before Idi Amin kicked them out! Their fellows East Asians were kicked out without their money and were given refuge in the UK.
Patel’s parents brought enough money to set up some shops from which they got the money to give her a private education.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
2 years ago

We in Wales should rise up in anger and contempt against Tory Patel’s blinding incompetence and couldn’t-care-less indifference to the Ukrainian refugees, who are in desperate need of a home. Utter shame on her.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 years ago

Watch your back with this one Liz, she will revoke your visa for England…

2 years ago

This woman would not be out of place in a Dickens novel, I am beginning to think she likes to portray herself as a Dickensian character. Utterly devoid of empathy, sympathy, or decency. I’m all right Jack is her motto, since her parents gained entry to a country, she now denies as a safe haven to the desperate, and those suffering through no fault of their own. What a horrid example of humanity she is.

Last edited 2 years ago by Gareth

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