Amanda Holden isn’t necessarily known for her political views but she made her feelings clear as she appeared on Good Morning Britain
The Britain’s Got Talent show appeared on the ITV news program on Tuesday (March 22) live from the Heart radio studios where she was hosting her breakfast show alongside Jamie Theakston. Amanda was speaking to Susanna Reid and Martin Lewis after recently returning from visiting the Ukraine border with Poland as well as a refugee camp in Medyka, Poland.
After the host brought up that this wasn’t Amanda’s usual work, she explained the motivation behind launching her podcast series, called Ukraine’s Hidden Voices. She said it originally came from an Instagram message she received from a mother in Ukraine who had been sheltering in a car park in Kyiv.
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She said: “The reason I went out there was because there was an American volunteer that we spoke to on our podcast who said I should go out there and see it for myself and I thought, you know what, I’m talking to these people who are clearly distressed, very displaced, bewildered by the entire situation, from the comfort of Heart studios, and I should just go out there really and see it for myself and then that’s exactly what I did.”
On her return to the UK, Amanda said she spoke candidly to her two daughters about the trip. “I just came home and I said to my own children, I can’t imagine what you and I would pack into a bag, how we would feel about leaving daddy behind, and then have to make a snap decision about what country we then want to go and live in,” the 51-year-old said.
She added: “I mean, it’s just a horrendous situation for them all.” Amanda then labeled the lengthy and complicated process of entering the UK as a refugee as “utterly ridiculous”.
Speaking of the Home Secretary Priti Patel, the TV and radio star said: “So, you know, Priti Patel’s winning, we’re not going to be getting many people coming into our country, despite the fact 150,000 people have volunteered to open up their homes. So I felt quite cross about that.”
Speaking about the paperwork refugees must complete prior to being granted entry to the UK, Amanda commented: “We’re all British, we were having a look, you know, my team and I were all looking through the paperwork going ‘you’d have a job to fill out these forms’, and we are British, so it is an absolutely appalling situation.”
She added: “But obviously, she doesn’t want immigrants does she, Priti?” before caveating her comments on her by saying: “I’m not political, but it’s made me really cross.”
In a statement, a government spokesperson said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and the changes we’ve made to the visa process are making it quicker and simpler for Ukrainians to come here, as well as ensuring those already here can stay.
“Valid passport holders no longer have to attend in-person appointments to submit fingerprints or facial verification, and we have also expanded capacity at our visa application centers to 13,000 appointments per week across Europe to help those without their documentation.
“We have also gone further to launch a bespoke Homes for Ukraine scheme, drawing on the enormous goodwill of the British public and our proud history of supporting the vulnerable in their hour of need which will allow Ukrainians without family ties to come to the UK. “
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.