Refugees Left Homeless After Being ‘Kicked Out’ By UK Hosts, Warns Ukraine MP

Delays in granting visas also meant some people trapped in Mariupol "never actually made it" to the UK.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Some refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion are being left homeless on the streets of Britain, a Ukrainian MP has warned.

On Thursday new government figures revealed 53,800 Ukrainians have so far arrived in the UK.

Some 20,800 have come under the family scheme and 33,000 people under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.

The data shows 107,400 visas have been granted under both schemes, meaning just over half of those with visas granted have arrived.

The Homes for Ukraine programme places Ukrainians in the homes of ordinary Brits who volunteer to look after them.

Speaking at an event in Westminster via video link, Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko said Ukraine had “a lot to be grateful for” to the UK.

But she warned some people were being left “homeless because they have been kicked out by the host”.

“OK, it’s a normal people-to-people situation,” she said. “They are all human. Circumstances change. Something went wrong in the relationship.

“But there must be some kind of a backup plan from the UK government. Where do these people go?

“The hosts are not obliged, they have no legal duty to keep the Ukrainian family, there is no responsibility if they kick them out.

“But at the end of the day we have Ukrainian families out on the street, what happens to them?”

Richard Harrington, the minister in charge of the Ukraine refugee programme who was also speaking at the event, admitted there was a problem but said it was “very few cases up to now”.

Vasylenko also urged the British government to improve its communications with Ukrainians waiting for their Homes for Ukraine application to be accepted.

“Some people came back to me asking whether it was a real programme or whether it was a scam about which they heard on the internet,” she said.

She said the average time it took for someone to get approved was “two to three weeks”, not the three days she had been promised by Priti Patel.

Vasylenko added: “Some people in these three weeks remain in peril, in cities which are under attack like Kharkiv.

“Some people never actually made it in the end to the UK because they got trapped in occupied cities like Kherson or like Mariupol.”

“The government of the UK is doing a lot but could also do a little bit more.”


What's Hot