Leighton Buzzard man trying to bring a Ukrainian mum and toddler to safety slams the Government response as 'a national disgrace'

A Leighton Buzzard man has slammed the Homes for Ukrainians scheme after a mother and child he is trying to help, were delayed after getting caught up in red tape.

By Lynn Hughes
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 5:48 pm

He said the mother and her toddler had been squatting in a flat miles from their home, while waiting for visas to be rubber stamped.

The family finally got the all clear to come to England at the weekend, but the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he wanted to express his anger to help those still caught in the system.

He said: “To all government outlets, your handling of the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ visa process is a national disgrace I have run out of energy to elaborate further. You should be ashamed.”

More than four million mainly women and children, have fled Ukraine - image Getty Images

In an open letter to his MP Andrew Selous, he said: “I am writing to you once again to complain in the most strongest of terms about the cruel and inhumane process and associated wait time involved in applying for ‘Homes for Ukraine’ visas. As you are aware, I’ve arranged to host a vulnerable family and despite your escalations and promises of an expedited process their visa applications are now into day 12 of waiting.

“I can’t impress upon you any more than the media outlets are reporting, that these towns are being bombed, people are dying,what kind of world are we living in that we ask those evacuating a war zone to wait 12 days for permission to enter a safe haven? On 28th March you tweeted an update on how the UK was supporting Ukraine stating that you were “Streamlining our visa support to those fleeing Ukraine”.

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“I think I speak on behalf of the 43,600 UK citizens and evacuees that have applied for visas when I say that the process is broken and those were hollow words.

“British people have opened their doors and opened their hearts and in response this government have created a process that is destined (or by some accounts designed) to fail. The Refugee Council have complained that the government are “choosing control over compassion”. Quoting a couple of words above this process is a national embarrassment, all involved are exhausted by the frustration and hosts are ashamed of our government.

“To the fullest possible extent of the influence your office has, I urge you alongside all of the Ukrainian evacuees and UK hosts that are losing hope, to please escalate this case once again and please urgently endorse this heartfelt plea for the process to be, as you say, “streamlined”.

Mr Selous said: “Although I understand that this process takes time, it is important to recognise that the necessary checks are imperative when dealing with sensitive cases such as this one. My office spent hours liaising with Home Office officials on multiple occasions for this particular case and I welcome that a positive outcome has now been reached.”

More than four million mainly women and children have escaped the fighting in Ukraine. The Homes for Ukraine scheme, launched in March this year, was meant to link up people able to offer accommodation for the refugees, with people fleeing the Russian invasion, but it has been beset by delays.