Judge Rinder: UK's response to Ukraine refugee crisis a 'national embarrassment'

·Contributor
·4-min read

Watch: Judge Rinder says there are not enough staff on the ground to implement the offer of asylum

Judge Rob Rinder has said the UK government's response to the Ukraine refugee crisis is a "national embarrassment".

The TV star and practising lawyer — who has travelled to the Polish/Ukrainian border to help the family of his Strictly Come Dancing partner Oksana Platero — said there are not enough staff on the ground to implement the offer of asylum.

Rinder told talkRADIO: "The government have made a number of very positive virtue signals, little happy drops in a dark ocean.

Read more: Benedict Cumberbatch offers his home to refugees fleeing Ukraine

"It's all very well of the wave of the great British public saying for a period of time we're happy to extend our hospitality and out breaks and out sanctuary to you. We just need to be able to do that. You just need to cut the red tape.

<p>Judge Rinder has called the UK's response to the refugee crisis in Ukraine a 'national embarrassment'. </p>
<p>The TV personality is reporting from the Polish border after travelling to find Strictly dancer Oksana Platero’s grandparents.</p>
<p>Credit: @talkRADIO via Twitter</p>
Judge Rinder has called the UK's response to the refugee crisis in Ukraine a 'national embarrassment'. (@talkRADIO via Twitter)

"So far on out journey every single story we've heard say the bureaucratic reality on the ground is a nightmare. We've made the offer, but there is not the staff to deliver on it.

"And I'm afraid to say as proud as I am to be British standing here, it is a matter of national embarrassment."

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19:  Judge Rinder attends the photocall for the 'Strictly Come Dancing' live tour on January 19, 2017 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Mark Milan/WireImage)
Judge Rinder competed in 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2016. (Getty Images)

Russian president Vladimir Putin began his military invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, prompting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to attempt to flee the country.

Rinder — who was paired with Platero on the fourteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 — announced he was travelling to the Polish border to help her grandparents in "their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country."

He shared on Twitter that her grandmother, 95, had crossed into Poland 'with no wheelchair, food or medical supplies' adding that she is 'resolute & strong'.

Rinder revealed: "Every few hours trains arrive full of kids and women coming form war-torn Ukraine. There are kids in buggies, old women and children arriving here.

"The Polish people have taken 1.5m refugees in and it is currently receiving a wave of refugees.

"It's so hard to share until you're viscerally standing on the ground, people who arrive without their medicine, without basic supplies, the first thing is to get shelter. And people are so far as they can be in contact with the men who are not allowed to leave Ukraine, who are fighting for the security and safety of that country very proudly.

"As for where they go next is a place, a home, anywhere that's willing ready and able to offer them sanctuary.

"Every person we speak to feels proud about Ukraine, wants to go back when some semblance of safety and security returns.

"It's about the extent to which people who are reaching towards perhaps getting to Britain might be able to do that."

Judge Robert Rinder in Judge Rinder's Crime Stories. (ITV)
Judge Robert Rinder in Judge Rinder's Crime Stories. (ITV)

Rinder went into law after university and in 2014 he came to fame as the star of reality courtroom show Judge Rinder.

Read more: Homes Under the Hammer's Martin Roberts makes 'mercy dash' to Ukraine

The 43-year-old Good Morning Britain presenter is a close friend of the actor Benedict Cumberbatch and was best man at his wedding. The Power Of The Dog star has said he wants to offer his home to a Ukrainian refugee.

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