Radio presenter and TV star Amanda Holden has expressed frustration with the UK Government and Home Secretary Priti Patel’s handling of Ukrainian refugees trying to enter the UK.
Olden, 51, has started a new podcast series, Ukraine’s Hidden Voices, for which she visited a refugee camp in Medyka, Poland, and spoke to families fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB), Holden described the lengthy and complicated process of entering the UK as a refugee as “absolutely ridiculous”.
Speaking of the Home Secretary, Holden said: “So you know Priti Patel is winning, we’re not going to bring many people into our country despite the fact that 150,000 people have volunteered to open their homes.
“So I was pretty upset about that.”
.@AmandaHolden has launched a new podcast entitled The Hidden Voices of Ukraine.
After contacting a mother who was taking shelter from the bombing in Kyiv in a parking lot, Amanda spent time in a refugee camp in Medyka, Poland, where she spoke to families fleeing the war. pic.twitter.com/kblo2SpUKl
– Good morning Great Britain (@GMB) March 22, 2022
Speaking about the paperwork that refugees have to do before they are allowed into the UK, Holden said: “We’re all British, we’ve had a look, you know, my team and I have all gone through the paperwork that you had a job to fill out those forms’ and we’re British so it’s an absolutely appalling situation.”
She added, “But obviously she doesn’t want immigrants, does she, Priti?”
Holden capped her comments, saying, “I’m not political, but it really upset me.”
Earlier in the show, Holden explained that her motivation for starting her podcast originally came from an Instagram message she received from a mother in Ukraine who had taken shelter in a Kyiv parking lot.
After speaking to families affected by the war, Holden decided to travel to Poland to visit those who had fled Ukraine.
She said: “The reason I went out there was because there was an American volunteer that we spoke to on our podcast who said I should go out and see it for myself and I was like, guess what , I’m speaking to these people who are clearly desperate, very displaced, confused by the whole situation, from the comfort of Heart Studios, and I really should just go there and see it for myself, and then I did just that.
I just got home and said to my own kids I can’t imagine what you and I would put in a bag, how we would feel about leaving dad behind and then have to make a quick decision on which one country we then want to go and live inAmanda Holden
On her return to the UK, Holden said she was open with her two daughters about the trip.
“I just got home and said to my own kids I can’t imagine what you and I would put in a bag, how we would feel about leaving dad behind and then having to make a quick decision, in which country we want to go to and live there,” she said.
She added, “I mean, it’s just a terrible situation for all of them.”
In a statement, a government spokesman said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and the changes we have made to the visa process make it faster and easier for Ukrainians to get here and ensure that those who are already here are, can stay.
“Valid passport holders are no longer required to attend in-person appointments to submit fingerprints or facial verification, and we have also expanded the capacity of our visa application centers to 13,000 appointments per week across Europe to help those without their documents.
“We’ve also gone a step further to launch a bespoke Homes for Ukraine programme, drawing on the tremendous goodwill of the UK public and our proud history of supporting the vulnerable in their hour of need, giving Ukrainians without family ties will enable them to come to Britain. ”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV and the ITV Hub.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/amanda-holden-shares-frustrations-over-lack-of-support-for-ukrainian-refugees-41473559.html Amanda Holden shares her frustration at the lack of support for Ukrainian refugees