Former Cabinet Secretary Robert Jenrick is the first MP to include a Ukrainian family in a new government program which he criticized for being too bureaucratic
Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Former Cabinet Secretary Robert Jenrick has scuttled the bureaucracy after becoming the first MP to welcome a Ukrainian refugee family into his home under a new government scheme.
The former Housing Secretary picked up Maria, 40, and their two children, Christina, 11, and Boden, 15, from Stansted Airport this week and they will live with his family at their home in Nottinghamshire.
After becoming the first MP to create a home for Ukrainians to help refugees fleeing the country under a new Interior Ministry program, he criticized the system, claiming it “tests the patience” of both sponsors and refugees.
He would like the application form to be simpler, less bureaucratic and available in Ukrainian.
Environment Secretary Victoria Prentis has also taken in a Ukrainian refugee, but with an existing UK visitor visa.
Photo only/PA images)
Mr Jenrick reportedly told Chopper’s politics podcast: “I think the process has been overly bureaucratic and I think the Home Office often falls into that trap.
“There were simple things we could and should have done from the start, like having the form in Ukrainian.
“And I’m not sure you need to screen minors who most likely do not pose a threat to this country.”
The Homes for Ukraine program has now issued over 25,000 visas allowing families in the UK to sponsor refugees from 55,600 applications.
Critics have slammed the system as slow, while other countries around the world have not insisted on visas and as much bureaucracy.
Mr Jenrick said he wanted to do something to help after seeing the horrors that have taken place in Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24.
He said his family and Ukrainian mother and children found the whole experience “very emotional”.
“I think the family we sponsor were happy to be in a safe place,” he told the BBC. “Like most Ukrainians who fall under the scheme, they leave behind husbands, fathers, relatives and friends, so there are mixed feelings.
“The process was initially relatively slow, but from our point of view it was worth the wait.”
Mr Jenrick added that Maria and her family have been “absolutely lovely” and plans are now being made to find a school for the two children.
He recommended that people who are able to offer houses to Ukrainians use this option, but they must take it “seriously”.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/robert-jenrick-becomes-first-mp-26724928 Robert Jenrick becomes the first MP to open a house and take in Ukrainian refugees