MORE than 10m Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes because of Russia’s appalling war. Most of them are now refugees within their own homeland, but 4m have crossed the borders into neighbouring countries.

Poland has taken in the most: 2.3m. Even tiny Moldova has taken in 400,000.

So far the UK has issued visas to 23,500 Ukrainians who already have family here. For those without family connections, we have issued 3,705 visas under the Homes for Ukrainians scheme – and it is thought that just 65 of those have actually made it into the country.

The British people are every bit as generous as their counterparts across Europe, as is shown by the response to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal and to our own appeal. Just one example: a second convoy of 15 transit vans leaves Colburn, in North Yorkshire, at midnight on Monday to drive aid to refugees in Poland.

Another example: Michelle Allison, of High Coniscliffe, has found unknown refugees to take in and yet can’t do so because of Government inaction.

The British Government seems to be putting up barriers rather than tearing them down – which is what the British people want. They want to see places like Darlington’s vast Northgate House, or Bishop Auckland’s Vinovium House quickly opened up to refugees, but instead we’re slowing the process down through our bureaucratic and biometric demands.

It is shameful. We must speed up our system so we can play a full part – not just to assist the people of Ukraine but to share the burden that the Poles are currently bearing without our support.