Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Richard Lochhead has been contacted by a substantial number of constituents who are keen to offer their homes to Ukrainian refugees.  As things stand, the Home Office has made it incredibly difficult for Ukrainians who are fleeing war and terror to enter the UK so refugees have been unable to access the warm welcome being offered by the public.

Thus far, Ukrainians have been faced with bureaucratic delays.  On turning up at Calais, they’ve been sent been signposted by the UK on to Paris (180 miles) or Brussels (120miles) to apply for Visas.  There’s been word of a new pop up centre in Lille but it reportedly won’t accept walk-ins, it’s address won’t be made public and even Lille is a further 70 mile journey.  Many Ukrainians fled their homes but they’re being asked for paperwork such as passports and told to go online or phone a helpline, which is impossible for many of them.  This is an utterly shameful way to treat people who are exhausted, frightened, who have lost loved ones, their homes and are fleeing war.

The Scottish Government is committed to working alongside local authorities to support Ukrainian refugees to settle in Scotland and wrote to the Prime Minister ten days ago urging that legal routes be established immediately and that lessons be learned from the Afghanistan resettlement schemes.

However, amidst the ongoing shambles, there is at long last now some hope of progress.  There’s been word of a new route for ‘sponsoring’ refugees and more details will be available from the UK Government in the coming days.

Richard Lochhead has offered to keep constituents up to date and said:

“I have been really heartened by the response of people in Moray and have had a significant number of people and businesses contact my office offering help and assistance to Ukrainian refugees. 

“I have written to Moray Council seeking feedback as to their readiness.

“Numerous constituents are offering accommodation or a room in their homes and are desperately keen to help.  So far this has been made impossible by a hostile Home Office policy which hasn’t allowed the vast majority of refugees into the UK, however, there is now word that Ukrainians without family ties in the UK may be able to enter under a ‘sponsorship’ scheme whereby members of the public will be able to register to accommodate them.

“The details aren’t available as yet but I will be happy to keep constituents up to date, particularly those who are able and willing to offer a room to refugees.  If you would like to be kept updated on this, please contact my office and I’ll be happy to share information as it becomes available from the UK Government.  I can be contacted by email at Richard.Lochhead.msp@parliament.scot or by calling my office on 01343 545077.”