A Solihull resident in an MP protests against delays in helping Ukrainian family

A FURIOUS businessman from Solihull says he is ready to camp outside the constituency office of Borough MP Julian Knight due to UK delays in getting a family from war-torn Ukraine to safety war.

Mark Embley and his wife Cecelia volunteered to provide accommodation for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion and were accepted by the British government.

They were paired with Ukrainian mother Maria and her two daughters aged six and one who had escaped the bloodshed and traveled to Warsaw in Poland.

None of the children had biometric passports and these were slow to be approved.

The family then had to apply for visas to travel to the UK and these were finally obtained two weeks ago.

All the while, as Poland cringes at the demands of caring for the millions of refugees who have crossed the border, the Embleys have hosted Maria and her family in AirBnB accommodation in Warsaw.

“Like hundreds of other people in the UK, all we’re trying to do is get a family here to safety,” Mark said.

“These people have been waiting for weeks for the Home Office to get their act together.

“UK Visas and Immigration have made it clear to us that the only people who can speed up the process are the Home Office and the only way to contact them is through your MP.”

He said he made his first contact with the Conservative constituency office in Solihull on Thursday when he caught a brief glance of the MP as he rushed to a meeting.

He has since taken his case to staff at Julian Knight and says he is prepared to wait until something is done.

“Julian Knight needs to tell Boris Johnson ‘I stood behind you over Partygate, now fix this mess’,” Mark said.

“We received a text from Maria this morning (Wednesday) in which she said the process was taking too long, she feels guilty for what she sees as our generosity and now she is about to get her children back and return to a war zone.

“That’s just not the case.”

Mr Knight said: ‘My staff have spent almost half a day every day for the past three to four days trying to sort this out.

“They can’t do more than what they are already doing, they have gone and are going above and beyond to ensure this situation is resolved.”

The Solihull Observer contacted the Home Office for comment, who forwarded us to the Department of Levelling, Housing and Communities, who, despite knowing our deadline, were unable to reach us reply.

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