David Miliband 'embarrassed and disappointed' in UK response to Ukrainian refugee crisis

7 March 2022, 18:59 | Updated: 7 March 2022, 19:54

By Emma Soteriou

David Miliband has told LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr that he is "embarrassed and disappointed" with how the UK has dealt with Ukrainian refugees.

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"When you look at the number of visas that have been issued for Ukrainian refugees and the general policy towards refugees do you think Britain is doing nearly enough?" Andrew asked.

"No, of course not. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that, as a proud British citizen, I think the last figure I saw was 50," Mr Miliband told Tonight with Andrew Marr.

"110,000 refugees arrived at Berlin railway station, I read, over the weekend," Mr Miliband explained.

"Frankly, it does seem heartless.

"It's in such contrast to the British public who have given £110 million to the disasters emergency committee appeal."

Watch Tonight with Andrew Marr exclusively on Global Player every Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 7pm https://www.globalplayer.com/live/lbc/uk/

He went on to say: "I just don't get it.

"There seems to be an argument that we need to restrict access for Ukraine refugees to those who have a British link. I don't accept that.

"Secondly, there seems to be this blaming of the bureaucracy - they're creating a scheme - we don't need people to be filling out forms when they're running from a war zone.

"You need to be giving them shelter and support."

It comes after it was confirmed on Sunday that over 1.5 million people had left Ukraine since Russia's invasion, making it the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War, while the Home Office confirmed only "around 50" visas had been issued under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

Asked what the number of visas issued was on Monday, Boris Johnson told reporters: "I can't give you the number, we're processing thousands right now.

"We will continue to make sure that we have a very, very generous approach."

Read more: Michael Gove warns Russia's invasion is the world's biggest crisis since 9/11

Read more: Putin has several 'grisly' options before turning to nuclear weapons, warns Michael Gove

Mr Johnson was speaking in London, where he continued international talks over the Ukraine crisis.

He continued to insist that the Government would not introduce a system for Ukrainian refugees can come to the UK "without any checks or any controls at all".

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