13-year-old sent back to war zone after Home Office ‘refused to process visa’

Tulip Siddiq MP 

Tulip Siddiq MP told the Commons a constituent of hers had tried to sponsor two Ukrainian sisters to come to the UK - Credit: PA

A 13-year-old girl was sent back to her Ukrainian town, currently under siege by Russian forces, after the Home Office refused her visa application, ministers have heard.

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq told the Commons a constituent of hers had tried to sponsor two Ukrainian sisters to come to the UK, but the younger sister was denied a visa and sent back to the “war zone” of her home town because she was not travelling with her parents.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (June 8), Ms Siddiq said: “My constituent is trying to sponsor two sisters from Ukraine to come to the UK.

“These two sisters were housed in dangerous temporary accommodation in Montenegro for several weeks while the UK Home Office refused to process the application of the younger sister because she is 13 and travelling without her parents, even though she had her 18-year-old sister with her.

“The 18-year-old sister is now in London and the 13-year-old sister has been sent back to her home town in Ukraine, which is under siege.

“Can I ask the prime minister, can he tell me hand on heart, does he think sending vulnerable children back to a war zone is the right policy?”

Boris Johnson replied: “Of course I understand her indignation about the case that she mentions and I know the home secretary will be looking into it.

“But I have to say that I do think the record of this country in processing so far I think well over 120,000 visas for Ukrainians is very creditable. I thank all the staff who have been involved in that effort.”