Boris Johnson hosting Ukrainian refugee in No 10 would be ‘security challenge’, Downing Street says

Hosting someone at Chequers under new scheme may also not be possible, No 10 says

<p>Boris Johnson lives in a flat in Downing Street</p>

Boris Johnson lives in a flat in Downing Street

Boris Johnson hosting Ukrainian refugees in No 10 would present "security challenges", Downing Street has said.

Asked whether the prime minister would take part in the government's new scheme to help people fleeing the Russian invasion Mr Johnson's spokesperson said it would also represent a "significant commitment"

And No 10 said Mr Johnson may not be able to unilaterally decide to put anyone up in the prime minister's country mansion of Chequers as it is owned by a private trust.

It comes as the government launches a new humanitarian programme that will pay households £350 a month to open their homes to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Under the new Homes for Ukraine scheme, people will be able to nominate a named Ukrainian individual or a family to stay with them or in another house they own for at least six months, rent-free.

Asked if Boris Johnson would offer to take in a Ukrainian individual or family, the prime minister's spokesperson said:

"There are specific challenges around the security of having someone in No 10. Various ministers have been asked about this and it will come down to individual circumstances.

"It's a significant commitment and it will depend on individual circumstances and is a matter for them."

Later asked if PM was ruling out taking in a Ukrainian, the spokesperson told reporters that he hasn't asked Mr Johnson directly.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is among prominent politicians to commit to taking in a Ukrainian refugee under the scheme.

"We've spent the past few weeks as a family discussing the devastating situation in Ukraine, and so we intend to apply today to join other UK households in offering our home to provide refuge to Ukrainians until it is safe for them to return to their country," he said in a message at lunchtime on Monday.

The new scheme comes amid criticism of the UK government’s approach to helping people fleeing the Russian invasion. Britain has not followed EU member states’ lead in putting in place an open border policy for Ukrainians and instead is still requiring lengthy visa applications for people with links to the UK or a nominated sponsor.

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