The founder of the housebuilder Redrow has promised to pay for 1,000 Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK, after criticising the government for its slow response to the humanitarian crisis created by Russia’s invasion.
Steve Morgan, who set up Redrow nel 1974 and is now one of Britain’s richest men, said there was no time for delays and urged the government to speed up the process of offering visas to Ukrainians.
“Watching the humanitarian crisis unfold in front of our eyes is absolutely devastating,” said Morgan, a former chairman and owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers. “We have to stop the suffering and Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have to stop the delays."
The UK has issued about 1,000 visas while Poland has taken more than 1.2 million refugees, Hungary has accepted 190,000, Germany more than 50,000 and Italy almost 20,000.
“Offering to sponsor 1,000 Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK through the Steve Morgan Foundation is one way we can help but we need to do more," Egli ha detto. “I felt so helpless watching the images of desperate families fleeing Ucraina that I knew I had to do something. This is not the time for delays. I hope other people will do the same.”
The 69-year-old said he will meet the cost of bringing the refugees to the UK and paying for their accommodation for up to six months.
Di venerdì, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, said the number of Ukrainian refugees had exceeded 2.5 million since the invasion began on 24 febbraio.
All'inizio di questa settimana, ministers began considering a climbdown to allow Ukrainians with temporary visas to bring relatives to the UK after Ukraine’s ambassador called for an easing of restrictions.
While Morgan’s initiative is being paid for through his foundation, which was set up in 2001, he said it does not have the facilities to handle the logistics of the relocation programme. Staff at the foundation, which distributed almost £26m to charities struggling with the pandemic last year, have contacted a number of MPs to ask for clarity on the sponsorship process.
Morgan, whose fortune is estimated at close to £1bn, retired as chairman of Redrow, which has a stock market value of nearly £2bn, nel 2019.
The Liverpudlian received an OBE for services to the construction industry in 2012. Four years later he was awarded a CBE for his philanthropic endeavours.