Priti Patel says 'further changes' to help Ukrainian refugees 'in next few days' amid visa criticism

ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand meets the people for whom the change in rules does not go far enough

Priti Patel has insisted the government is working with Ukraine to provide humanitarian support and promised more announcements in the coming days after the government rejected calls to relax visa rules for refugees fleeing the war.

Speaking to ITV's Peston Show the home secretary said the government is taking "a phased approach around humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine."She also said they were working with Ukraine and regional governments to find out what people needed.

She insisted: "Our policies are evolving - this is changing, this is a very fluid and dynamic situation. And in fact there will be further changes and announcements that we'll be making in the next few days as well."Earlier on Monday, Ms Patel said an extra 100,000 Ukrainians will be allowed to "seek sanctuary" in the UK for the next 12 months, after temporarily relaxing immigration rules, but she stopped short of a full visa waiver.

The home secretary said anyone with immediate families in the UK would be allowed to live in the UK, even if they do not qualify under current immigration system, so long as they pass security checks.

Why has Russia invaded Ukraine and can Putin be stopped?

Speaking to ITV's Peston she said the government was working including extended families in the new rules "because we just don't know what tomorrow will bring."

She added: "I must emphasise this, we are working with the Ukrainian government because primarily you know people want to stay in the region.

"We have to work and give people support in-region that want to stay. And for those that want to come to the United Kingdom we are absolutely working on this right now."

Earlier, she told MPs the 100,000 Ukrainians allowed into the country under the scheme will have "permission to enter the UK outside the rules for 12 months" but warned not everyone would be able to enter after receiving the “strongest security advice”.

The European Union announced on Sunday it would accept an unlimited amount of Ukrainians fleeing war, without asking them to apply for asylum first, allowing them to remain for up to three years.

But Ms Patel suggested that would not be possible in the UK because "security and biometric checks" are "vital to keep British citizens safe".

She added: "We know all too well what Putin's Russia is willing to do, even on our soil, as we saw through the Salisbury attack and through the nerve agent use on the streets of the Ukraine.

"The approach we are taking is based on the strongest security advice."

At least 400,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the EU so far, according EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, and EU nations have been told to "prepare for millions".

Ms Patel told MPs on Monday: "Our new route will continue to keep pace with the developing situation on the ground and so far has already supported hundreds of British nationals and their families resident in Ukraine to leave.

"The UK visas and immigration staff continue to work around the clock to assist them."

She added: "Where family members of British nationals do not meet the usual eligibility criteria, but pass security checks, UK visas and immigration will give them the permission to enter the UK outside the rules for 12 months and is prioritising all applications.

"Giving British nationals and any person settled in the UK the ability to bring over their immediate Ukrainian family members."

But the Home Office has said it is still working through "eligibility" for the relaxed immigration scheme, meaning it is not yet clear exactly who would qualify.

Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper asked "Why is the home secretary so poorly prepared for something she has been warned about for weeks?"

She added: "The Home Secretary has just said she is announcing a bespoke humanitarian route but it's extremely unclear from what she's said what the details actually are or who it will apply to."

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace earlier told ITV News most Ukrainians in the UK are "actually trying to get back to Ukraine to fight with their fellow countrymen".

It comes after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would support British nationals who chose to go fight alongside the Ukrainian forces against the Russian invasion.

Mr Wallace told ITV News it is a "just cause" but encouraged Brits who want to support the fight to sign up for the UK Army, because joining a conflict is dangerous.

He said: "If you're British and you just want to go and do this, and fight, I would give strong advice that if you want to help in that world - join our armed forces."

He also said the Russian invasion is not going to plan, with its army failing to take two large cities in the north east.

"Overall it is not going to plan and not on time," he said, with "demoralised" Russian soldiers "taking casualties" and Ukraine "pushing them back in many areas".

Mr Putin cited “aggressive statements” from the Nato defence alliance and the financial sanctions imposed in response to his invasion in issuing orders to increase the readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons.

Mr Wallace said the UK will "will not do anything to escalate in that area" and takes the threat "very, very seriously".

"But at the moment this is a battle of rhetoric that President Putin is deploying, and we just have to make sure we manage it properly," he told the BBC.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, asked earlier about the EU's visa relaxation, said the government would "have a look at the policy".

"Let's decide how we do this collectively," he said, "government will examine the different options. We've already seen movement from the original policy and we'll look at it as we go".

He also dismissed the Russian president putting his nuclear forces on heightened alert as being a part of the Kremlin’s “battle of rhetoric” rather than a real threat.

Watch the Peston show on Twitter and ITV at 10:55pm and afterwards on the ITV Hub