Transport Secretary Grant Shapps prepares to welcome a Ukrainian refugee family into his home – along with their pet dog.
The minister said he wanted to ‘make a meaningful difference’ by taking over the household, forced to flee the country’s war-torn capital, Kyiv, following the invasion by Russia.
The family includes a mother, her six-year-old son and her grandmother.
Ukrainian War – latest updates
Mr Shapps said he was unsure when they first contacted him if they knew he was a government minister, but ‘thinks they will have spotted him by now’ on his Facebook page.
Their arrival was delayed because the grandmother did not have a passport, but he hoped the situation would be resolved by next week.
In other developments:
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• Russia’s deputy UN ambassador says he would use nuclear weapons if ‘provoked’
• Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich played early role in peace talks, Kremlin say
• At least 1,035 Ukrainians dead and 1,650 injured, UN says; but the real number is probably much higher
Mr Shapps was among more than 150,000 people across the UK to register for a government plan offering shelter to people fleeing Ukraine conflict, which triggered a humanitarian crisis.
The initiative was launched following criticism of Whitehall’s response to the civil exodus.
The government continued to insist on visa requirements for security reasons, while EU countries, such as Ireland, took a less stringent approach.
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Mr Shapps told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘We’ve had a family conversation about it, and of course it means the house is more cluttered and there’s less room for a desk to to study.
“But every time we got to the end of the conversation, we thought, ‘But look what’s happening to these people, look what’s happening to their house.
“You just want to do something that will make a meaningful difference, even if it’s just one family.”
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