London mayor Sadiq Khan has called on the UK to “do more” for Ukrainian refugees.
“It is important throughout the next few days, weeks to make it far, far easier, and much more easier for those who are fleeing Ukraine to come here,” he told PA news agency before joining a demonstration in support of the country.
“You compare our government’s actions versus the actions of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, it’s embarrassing. We have got to be doing much more.”
Khan also praised Londoners’ attitude, urging them to continue with their generosity as City Hall announced around £1.1m in funding to support asylum seekers in London.
“I’m full of admiration for anybody who has the space to provide a room for those who have fled Ukraine,” he added. “It’s really important families are not left to their own devices, the Government has to step up and support them.”
Launched on 14 March, the Homes for Ukraine scheme allows refugees to come to the UK if they have family or are sponsored by an individual, company or charity.
The scheme was criticised by shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy, who said it is “completely unworkable” unless the government cuts the red tape and provides more help to those offering their availability to host, City A.M. reported.
“When you add in the excessive layers of bureaucracy – the lengthy forms and the documents you need to prove your identity and residency – the barriers make this scheme completely unworkable,” she told The Observer last week.
“Unless urgent steps are taken to address this, we will see very small numbers of people taking up this offer and a lot of the public’s generosity squandered.”