Peston: Nadhim Zahawi lays bare plan to bring 100,000 child refugees from Ukraine

The Education Secretary was welcomed on ITV’s political show Peston last night to discuss the Government’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Since the conflict began in Ukraine, over two million refugees have fled the country causing the biggest exodus since World War Two.

The majority of refugees fled to Poland and other neighbouring nations, but the Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Government have been strongly condemned for lacking sympathy for the refugees and refusing to help.

On LBC James O’Brien slammed Priti Patel saying: “Priti Patel’s refugee policy is working absolutely perfectly.

“People fleeing war in Ukraine cannot get into this country for love nor money.”

His comment came after hearing of a family who have family in the UK and managed to reach Calais to be told “sorry, you’ve got to go to Paris and apply from there.”

O’Brien added: “We know that happened to at least 150 people. God knows how many more.”

It has been reported that 850 refugees have been offered visas by the United Kingdom, while Ireland has taken in 2,500.

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer, who also featured on Peston, admitted it was “not our finest hour.”

A poll conducted by Peston found that 76 percent of British people support resettlement schemes for Ukraine.

Mr Zahawi’s father had to flee Iraq after his life was endangered and successfully moved to the UK under an immigration scheme.

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He added: “that will be both for adults and children.”

His team is currently making sure that there are dedicated areas and schools for these children along with appropriate housing.

Peston asked Labour MP Diana Johnson: “Are you reassured by what you just heard?”

Ms Johnson retorted: “No I’m not. I mean on the humanitarian sponsorship pathways we don’t know what the details are yet that’s to be announced and what we do know is the Government have had a similar scheme in operation since I think 2016, and they’ve only ever brought 500 people under that existing scheme.

“I think there are some real questions on how you can scale that up quickly.”

In his response, Mr Zahawi claimed that the Government had ‘absolutely’ learned their lessons from that scheme.

“You have to have some checks; I think we need to make sure they are as frictionless as we can make them and scale them up as quickly as possible.”

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