Call to use Holyrood Palace as temporary accommodation for Ukrainians

People across the UK are being urged to host people fleeing from Ukraine.

The Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh suggested as temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees iStock

The Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh has been suggested for use as temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.

It comes as people across the UK are being asked to host people fleeing Ukraine following the invasion by Russia.

The UK Government has given its backing in principle to the Scottish Government’s proposal to act as a ‘super sponsor’ for Ukrainian citizens, paving the way for around 3000 people to come to Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday provided an update to the Scottish Parliament on refugees from Ukraine.

Earlier, Sturgeon announced that more than £1m of funding will go towards organisations supporting Ukrainian refugees arriving in Scotland.

Following the statement by the First Minister, SNP MSP Christine Grahame suggested that Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh could be utilised as accommodation for those fleeing from the conflict.

And she urged the Scottish Government to make the most of premises under its ownership.

“I note the proposal for welcome hubs and if necessary, temporary accommodation,” Grahame said.

“Can I suggest the Scottish Government could start by utilising premises in its ownership for welcome hubs and that accommodation.

“In Edinburgh for example, we have Holyrood Palace, a stone’s throw from here.

“It’s owned, I understand, by the Scottish Government, has lots of space, over 200 rooms and is largely under-occupied.”

Sturgeon was not directly drawn on the proposal by Grahame, but agreed that “all possible ways” of helping accommodate people from Ukraine should be looked at.

She responded: “I’m very keen that we keep our focus on what we’re trying to do to help Ukrainians.

“I know it’s serious, and I’m taking it seriously, I’m just a little bit reluctant to give an answer here that perhaps might generate a headline that detracts from the really important work we’re doing.

“But Christine Graham’s general point is right, we should be looking to utilise all possible ways of helping accommodate people in Ukraine.

“We’re all being asked right now if we will do, everybody’s circumstances are different.

“But her general point is absolutely right that all accommodation that we can make available, reasonably, we should do that.

“And that will allow us to ensure that we maximise the contribution that we are making.”

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