Promotion Minister Michael Gove says the first people could come to the UK in a week’s time under a new funding route – following criticism of the Government’s slow response
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“Tens of thousands” of Ukrainians could arrive in the UK under a scheme for Britons to bring refugees into their homes – with first arrivals expected in a week’s time.
Promotion Minister Michael Gove details the new “Houses for Ukraine” plan, which will allow people in the UK to offer to host those desperately fleeing the Russian invasion.
Donors can nominate a named Ukrainian individual or family to live with them in their home, or provide a private property for their free use.
It comes after the UK Government faced fierce criticism for its slow response to the refugee crisis, which has displaced more than 2.5 million people because of the war.
Mr Gove said more than 3,000 visas had been issued under a separate scheme for people with family contacts in the UK.
He initially said 300,000 visas were issued before correcting the mistake when challenged by Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge.
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Mr Gove is leading the way in funding following widespread criticism of the Home Office’s response.
Asked about his estimate of how many people could come to the UK through the new scheme, he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Tens of thousands.”
“People can register their interests on Mondays,” he said.
“The match will take place from Friday. I hope that in a week’s time we will see the first people coming here according to the program.”
Britons sponsoring refugees through the new route will be required to commit for a minimum period of six months – and they will receive a thank you payment of £350 a month.
Anyone offering accommodation will be screened and Ukrainian applicants will also undergo security checks.
A website that allows people to register their interests will go live on Monday.
Local authorities will be given £10,000 per refugee in their area to fund key public services, with plans to add cash to schools accepting Ukrainian students.
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said last week that a team was planning to welcome 100,000 children into British schools.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Mr Gove said he would do “everything I can” to help when asked if he would organize a refugee himself.
He said: “I will make sure I do everything I can as an individual to support. And, again, each individual will have their own unique circumstances.
“It’s the case that one in 10 UK citizens, which is a staggering amount of money, has said they’d like to do something to help. But we want to make sure people are available to help. help, because it’s certainly a significant undertaking.
“I realized that we need to work in different ways and in different stages to help people who are fleeing persecution.”
Pressed on whether that meant he would offer a room, he said: “I’m in the process of looking at what I can do, yes.”
Labor leader Keir Starmer called the UK’s response to the crisis “an embarrassment”.
“The possibility of an invasion of Ukraine has been known for many weeks,” he said.
“The Home Office has been so slow, so bad at this, and to be honest the last few weeks have been an embarrassment for the UK in how they deal with refugees.”
He said there should be no limit to the number of refugees the UK could take in, adding: “We should provide shelter to all those who are fleeing for their lives wanting to come to the UK. He and played our full role.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tens-thousands-ukrainians-expected-under-26454636 'Tens of thousands' of Ukrainians expected to allow Britons to take in refugees