Government appoint Jewish minister for refugees after criticism over delays to visa process

The former MP for Watford will also be appointed a life peer


A Jewish former MP has been appointed by the government to be minister for refugees as the crisis in Ukraine grows.

Richard Harrington, the former MP for Watford has been made a life peer by the government, allowing him to work in government as a member of the House of Lords.

According to 10 Downing Street: “The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Richard Harrington as a Minister of State (Minister for Refugees) jointly in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office.

“Her Majesty has also been pleased to signify Her intention of conferring a peerage of the United Kingdom for Life on Richard Harrington."

The Board of Deputies have criticised the government's visa system for Ukrainian refugees after the family of a Ukrainian Holocaust survivor stranded in Poland have criticised delays to the process.

Harrington, a former chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, left politics in 2019 and didn't stand in the December election that saw the Tories win an 80-seat majority.

Originally from Leeds, Harrington began his career working for John Lewis, before becoming an MP in 2010 and eventually a government minister.

He resigned from Theresa May's government in March 2019 in protest of the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and was one of 21 Tory MPs to lose the party whip, before having it restored in October.

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