Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock signs up to 'Homes for Ukraine' refugee scheme

Matt Hancock. Credit: PA

The former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that he plans to welcome Ukrainian refugees into his Suffolk constituency home.

The West Suffolk MP posted on Twitter that he had signed up to the government scheme and urged his constituents to do the same.

Mr Hancock said that he would be hosting refugees because "we must stand with Ukraine".

Since the government's 'Homes for Ukraine' website was launched on Monday, at least 44,000 people have already offered to take in those fleeing the conflict.

Speaking to ITV's 'Good Morning Britain' on Tuesday, Mr Hancock revealed that he had already been in contact with one of his British-Ukrainian constituents before the scheme was launched, and is hoping to host a family of five.

"In my case, I've been working with a British-Ukrainian who's family is trying to get out of Ukraine and we were talking about what happens why they get here, and I just feel so strongly about it," he said.

"Whether it's that's family, or whether it's another family that comes through a different route, I'm opening my home. Before going down this route, obviously I checked with the kids and they're really enthusiastic about it because we all want to help - the scenes have been so awful."

  • Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock explains why he's signing up to the scheme

People will be expected to sign up to host a Ukrainian for a minimum of six months and will receive £350 for every month they house a refugee or family.

Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove confirmed on Monday that there will be no limit to how many Ukrainians could enter the UK.

Labour has criticised the practicalities of the scheme, with Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Lisa Nandy telling 'Good Morning Britain' that it "leaves all the bureaucratic hurdles in place."

"You've got to flee Ukraine, you've got to get away from the bomb and the bullets, you've got to get to an internet cafe and fill in a 50-page form online. You've got to upload a whole host of documents, your mortgage documents, your water bill - these are things that people feeling Putin just simply don't have," she said.

"Even if you manage to get through all those bureaucratic hurdles and get a Visa granted, then what you've got to do under this scheme is advertise yourself online, you've got to get onto Instagram or Tik Tok, and show yourself to the British public and hope that a British family will pick you up. Unless the government does its job, we're going to see the numbers of people who are actually able to seek sanctuary in Britain become vanishingly small."