THE Government has continued to expand its humanitarian response for Ukraine following the invasion by Russia.

We have pledged more than £400 million to help the country and the UK is now the largest bilateral humanitarian donor to Ukraine.

This week, 21 Ukrainian children with cancer were flown into the UK for life-saving treatment. President Zelensky personally asked Boris Johnson for mobile generators to bring electricity to places hit by power shortages because of bombing. More than 500 of them will soon be on their way.

The Prime Minister has announced a six point ‘plan of action’ for the international community to ensure Putin fails in his ambitions. Sanctions are beginning to bite hard in Russia and it's struggling with a drop in the value of its currency, high inflation and shortages while assets across the globe are frozen and markets shut.

The response from the west has been swift, coordinated and very robust. Western countries know the invasion of Ukraine is a threat to us all.

In news that is very much linked to what has happened. The UK and Canada have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation across security, defence, trade, science, global travel, health and climate sectors. This G7 and NATO member and Commonwealth country is a staunch friend of the UK and I was pleased to hear this. In the future, it will mean opportunities for business in the West Midlands.

The Government also announced a sponsorship scheme this week for people to host a Ukrainian refugee rent free in their home for at least six months.

In return they will receive a thank you of £350 a month tax free. Councils are also set to receive £10,500 per refugee to help with support with more available for children. A website called Homes for Ukraine to express an interest in hosting has been launched.

The scheme will be expanded using charities, community groups and churches to help with matching refugees to hosts.

Ukrainians on the scheme will be given leave to remain for three years, with the right to work and access public services.  School places will be made available and this is all in addition to other schemes and measures to help refugees.

To date, around 4000 visas have also now been granted to Ukrainians who want to come to the UK. All this is a comprehensive and compassionate response by this government. I would like to thank all those who will take in Ukrainian refugees into their homes in Stourbridge.

We stand firm in our resolve to see Putin fail. Like many in Stourbridge, I remain angry and very upset at what is happening.