Refugees need urgent help

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke has called for action to help Ukraine refugees gain immediate entry to the UK.

By Janet Harrison
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 3:10 pm
MP Alec Shelbrooke pictured in Kyiv during a NATO visit to Ukraine after the Purple Revolution in 2014.
MP Alec Shelbrooke pictured in Kyiv during a NATO visit to Ukraine after the Purple Revolution in 2014.

The Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell and leader of the UK delegation to the NATO parliamentary assembly told the Wetherby News that he feels angry at the “reticence” of the Home Office this week.

“Last week, Conservative MPs in the one nation caucus urged the prime minister to make a fair offer to those fleeing Ukraine and I’m proud of the support given as a result.

“Boris Johnson has led the world’s humanitarian response, committing £400 million in support, and on Monday creating the International Ukraine Support Group, along with Canada and the Netherlands, to coordinate global efforts and provide long-term humanitarian, economic and military support.”

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“Yet, despite these rapid measures, I’ve been angered by the reticence of the Home Office this week.

“It’s simply not good enough to have emerging plans for refugees. They need to put plans into action now.

“They need to get a grip on the ground – and in Whitehall – and speed up the processing of visa applications.

“I understand the need for security checks but we need officials surged into Calais so checks can be completed as quickly as possible because demand is surely going to increase over coming weeks as citizens leave neighbouring states of Poland, Moldova and Romania – their first safe stop – and continue their journey to loved ones in the UK.”

Mr Shelbrooke, as leader of the UK delegation to the NATO parliamentary assembly, has recently returned from NATO HQ in Brussels after intensive discussions on the support the defensive alliance could provide.