Politics

Cabinet minister Shapps to take in Ukrainian refugee family – including their dog

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is preparing to welcome a family of Ukrainian refugees into his home – along with their pet dog.

The cabinet minister has said he wanted to “make a meaningful difference” by taking in the household, forced to flee the country’s war-torn capital Kyiv, following the invasion by Russia.

The family includes a mother, her six-year-old son and his grandmother.

Ukraine war – latest updates

Mr Shapps said he did not know when they originally contacted him if they knew he was a government minister, but “think they will have spotted it by now” from his Facebook page.

Their arrival has been delayed as the grandmother did not have a passport, but he hoped the situation would be resolved by next week.

In other developments:

Ukrainian city of Chernihiv ‘cut off’ by Russian forces, as US agrees to supply more gas to Europe
Russia’s deputy UN ambassador says it would use nuclear weapons if ‘provoked’
• Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich played early role in peace talks, Kremlin claims
• At least 1,035 Ukrainians have died and 1,650 wounded, says UN; but real number likely much higher

More on Ukraine

Mr Shapps was among more than 150,000 people across the UK to sign up to a government scheme offering shelter to people escaping the Ukraine conflict, which has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

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‘You just cry’: Ukraine refugee comes to UK

The initiative was launched following criticism of the Whitehall response to the civilian exodus.

The government has continued to insist on a visa requirement on security grounds, while EU countries, such as Ireland, have taken a less strict approach.

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Mr Shapps told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We had the conversation as a family about this, and of course it means the house is more crowded and there’s less room for a desk to study at.

“But every time we came to the end of the conversation, we thought ‘But look at what’s happening to these people, look at what’s happening to their home’.

“You just want to do something that will make a meaningful difference, even though it’s just the one family.”

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