Minister: Putin criticism of UK sanctions is a 'badge of honour' for Government

7 March 2022, 08:52 | Updated: 7 March 2022, 08:53

By Asher McShane

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said today that Putin's condemnation of the UK's sanctions against Russia were a "badge of honour" for the government.

Mr Cleverly told LBC the the Government carries "as a badge of honour" Putin's criticism of London's sanctions against Russia.

He said :”Vladimir Putin singled out London in his speech over the weekend.

“We carry that as a badge of honour.”

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, he also said the number of Ukrainians being granted visas for the UK would increase "very, very quickly".

Read more: Zelenskyy warns he 'will not forgive' after civilians massacred fleeing Ukraine

Read more: Russia accused of 'callous' attacks on civilians as '500kg' bomb drops on homes

He told LBC: "The numbers of people who are seeking refuge is unprecedented. This is the largest refugee flow that we have seen since the Second World War."

The Home Office "had to create a system pretty much from scratch", he said.

"It will take a little time to get the system up and running, that's now there, I have no doubt that the numbers will start coming through."

He added that the UK authorities had a "duty of care" to those being let in and checks had to be carried out to assess who they were and what help they required.

"That process will get quicker and slicker and faster, I have no doubt."

The Home Office revealed on Sunday that only "around 50" visas had been granted under the Ukraine Family Scheme as of 10am on Sunday.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tweeted: "This is too slow. Too many hoops for desperate families to have to jump through. Home Office completely failing to understand urgency of crisis."

But Ms Patel said the UK was "doing everything possible" to speed up efforts to grant visas to Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, and told The Sun she was examining a "humanitarian route" to allow all Ukrainian refugees who want to come to the UK to do so.

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