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Nottinghamshire’s Robert Jenrick becomes first MP to open home to Ukrainian refugees

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Nottinghamshire MP Robert Jenrick has hit out at red tape after becoming the first MP to take in a Ukrainian refugee family under a new government scheme. The former housing minister and Newark MP picked up Maria, 40, and her two children Christina, 11, and Boden, 15, from Stansted airport this week, and they will live with his family at their Nottinghamshire home.

As reported by The Mirror, after being the first MP to provide a home for Ukrainians under a new Home Office scheme to help refugees from the country, he criticised the system claiming it “tested the patience” of both sponsors and those fleeing. He has said that he wants the application form to become more straightforward with less bureaucracy, as well as being available in Ukrainian.

Environment Minister Victoria Prentis has also taken in a Ukrainian refugee but under an existing visa for visitors to the UK. Mr Jenrick reportedly told Chopper’s Politics podcast: “I do think the process has been overly bureaucratic and I think the Home Office often falls into this trap.

Read more: Nottinghamshire families ready to house Ukrainian refugees hit out at ‘heartbreaking’ Government delay

“There were simple things that we could and should have done from the outset, like having the form in Ukrainian, for example. And I’m not sure whether you need to be doing checks on minors who are extremely unlikely to be a threat to this country.”

The Homes for Ukraine scheme has now issued over 25,000 visas where families in the UK can sponsor refugees from 55,600 applications. Critics have blasted the scheme for being slow while other countries around the world have not insisted on visas and so much bureaucracy.

Mr Jenrick said that 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 that his family and the Ukrainian mum and children have found the whole experience “very emotional”.

“I think the family we are sponsoring were happy to be in a place of safety,” he told the BBC. “Like most Ukrainians who come under the scheme they are leaving behind husbands, fathers, relatives and friends so there are mixed emotions.

“The process was relatively slow to begin with but well worth the wait from our perspective.” Mr Jenrick added that Maria and her family had been “absolutely lovely” and that the plan now was to find a school for the two children.

He recommended for people in a position to offer homes to Ukrainians to take up the option but they needed to take it “seriously”.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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