Bishop of Worcester asks about the Homes for Ukraine scheme

The Bishop of Worcester asked a question in a debate on the Homes for Ukraine scheme on 28th March 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I pay tribute to the Minister for the enormous amount that he has done in a very short space of time. At the same time, however, I acknowledge the frustration that is felt and expressed by the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, on the part of so many people. We have tried locally to convene people in the community, and enormous support is forthcoming, but there seems to be a problem with the process. One acknowledges the need for security checks, but I have heard a lot of times, anecdotally, about the complexity of the visa process and how difficult it is. Local government is waiting for guidance from the Government here.

Lord Harrington of Watford (Con): It should not be my job always to agree with the questions that are asked but, in this case, I totally believe in the sentiment that the right reverend Prelate expressed. I am looking at every aspect of the visa process to speed it up. The Home Secretary and I have personally spent hours with officials, including at weekends, looking at ways that we can speed this up because, if the security checks are put in place—which they are—it seems to me that there is no reason why people applying on the internet, or indeed at a visa centre in the countries adjacent to Ukraine, should not be able to get a response really quickly to allow them to come here. I cannot stand here for a long time using the excuse that I am new to the job, but I promise the right reverend Prelate and noble Lords that this is an absolute top priority.


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