Bishop of St Albans asks about refugees from Ukraine

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about guidance for local authorities during a debate on visas for Ukrainians on 10th March 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, perhaps the Minister could help us a little. Ukrainians are arriving, some of them with leave to remain, but they have no recourse to public funds. For example, yesterday my chaplain at the airport in Luton was phoning me saying, “We have 12 people. They have been put up for a week in a hotel by Border Force, but that is going to come to an end on Monday.” We are currently trying to raise money and funds, and to identify places for these 12 people. This is a really serious problem facing us immediately. We want to help, but there is a very real danger that, if we cannot get the legalities sorted out, there are going to be people—particularly single people—sleeping rough by next Monday. Will clear guidance be given to local authorities, and can we try to find a way through some of these problems, which need to be addressed now?

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): I am assuming that the right reverend Prelate is not referring to people coming in under the family scheme, because clearly they would have recourse to public funds. I am assuming that he is talking about Ukrainians seeking asylum here. Ukrainians coming here under the family scheme, by its very nature, will have family members here. I will take this offline and discuss it with the right reverend Prelate, because certain things in what he is saying do not seem to fit the scheme that we are talking about.


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