Matthew Taylor

Starmer: refugee numbers should be ‘uncapped’

Starmer: refugee numbers should be 'uncapped'
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Sir Keir Starmer – Refugees numbers should be ‘uncapped’

The Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer returned to the hot seat this week, this time with Sophy Ridge. Starmer echoed the Prime Minister’s description of Putin as a ‘war criminal’, and derided the government’s efforts to accommodate refugees as ‘too slow, too narrow, too mean’. Ridge asked for his blueprint for what a Labour government would do in this situation:

Labour would levy ‘windfall tax’ on oil and gas companies 

The fallout from the war in Ukraine is destined to exacerbate the cost of living across the world, putting pressure on everything from the price of wheat to the price of fuel. Ridge asked if Labour was looking at taking action in this area:

Boris Johnson still not fit to be Prime Minister

Last week, Starmer forewent the opportunity to demand Boris Johnson’s resignation, instead calling for unity as the chaos of the war unfolded. Starmer stressed that this was only a temporary truce:

Michael Gove – I may take in a refugee from Ukraine

With Vladimir Putin continuing to wreak devastation in Ukraine, the United Nations has estimated that the war has seen 2.6 million people flee the country. The UK government has devised a ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme aimed at resettling refugees with obliging citizens, and Michael Gove, the minister responsible for it, joined Sophie Raworth to explain more about the details. Raworth also asked the Housing Secretary if he would be making use of the new scheme himself, which is expected to play host to tens of thousands of people:

Refugee schemes avoids ‘slow, bureaucratic process’

Gove was also in the Sky News studio with Sophy Ridge, who asked about the nature of the new refugee scheme, focusing on the requirement that participants must explicitly name a Ukrainian person before they can house them. Gove defended this arrangement, arguing that the alternatives had their own practical problems:

No one raised security concerns with me about Lord Lebedev 

The Prime Minister’s friendship with the Lord Lebedev, the Russian-born businessman who owns the Evening Standard, is earning him considerable media scrutiny. It has been revealed that Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6, had expressed concerns about Lebedev, whose father was a KGB agent, and the concerns were raised again when Johnson put his friend forward for a peerage. Lebedev has strongly denied that he is ‘some agent of Russia’. Raworth asked Gove for his reaction to the media reports: 

Use of chemical weapons would be a ‘game changer’

And finally, Raworth spoke to the Polish President Andrzej Duda, asking him about Putin’s potential use of weapons of mass destruction. Both the Nato Secretary-General and the White House have speculated that use of chemical weapons may well be on the cards, especially after a ‘preposterous’ Russian claim that the US was developing its own such weapons in Ukrainian laboratories: