BORIS Johnson has boasted of the UK Government’s “unparalleled record” of welcoming refugees as he urged MPs to be “proud” of his administration’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

It came as Ian Blackford pilloried the Prime Minister for what he dubbed “the slowest, most bureaucratic, and incompetent refugee responses in the whole of Europe”.

While EU countries have waived visa requirements for those fleeing the Russian invasion, the UK has refused.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, the SNP Westminster leader said it was “disgraceful” that the Home Office had so far approved just 750 visas of Ukrainian refugees.

In that time, the Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP pointed out, Poland has taken in more than 1.2 million refugees, Hungary more than 190,000, Germany more than 50,000 and Italy more than 17,000.

"Even Ireland, a country of just over 5 million people, has given sanctuary to three times as many refugees as the UK, Blackford continued. “These numbers don’t lie, and they tell a devastating truth.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon attacks 'shameful' Tory response to Ukrainian refugee crisis

He argued the decision to deny visa-free access was “ideological”, telling MPs: “Even in the face of the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since the second World War, this UK Government won’t set aside their toxic hostile environment.”

The SNP MP said the response to the war was symptomatic of previous failings at the Home Office, referencing the Windrush scandal, Theresa May’s infamous “Go Home” vans, and the “inhumane” Nationality and Borders Bill.

Blackford concluded: “The UK Home Office is raising barriers and bureaucracy when we should instead be offering care and compassion.

"Prime Minister, do not let the history of failure from this Tory Home Office repeat itself. Scotland stands ready to offer sanctuary, so will you finally join with the rest of the Europe and waive all visa restrictions for refugees fleeing Ukraine?"

READ MORE: Ukrainian ambassador says wife experienced ‘bureaucratic hassle’ when applying for UK visa

Johnson dismissed the criticism of his government. To howls of outage from opposition benches, he claimed the UK has an “unparalleled record” of welcoming refugees.

“The numbers we’ve taken from Afghanistan, from Hong Kong,” the Tory leader said. “He [Blackford] lectures the Home Secretary.

“This a government unlike any other. The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Home Secretary are directly descended from refugees.

“We understand how much refugees have to give to this country and we understand how much this country has to gain from welcoming refugees. And we will be generous and we are being generous.”

He insisted the UK is “out in front” providing humanitarian aid in countries neighbouring Ukraine.

“This country is leading in every respect, but we are also the single biggest donor of humanitarian aid to the Ukraine warzone … The single biggest donor, he [Blackford] should be proud of that.”

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Yet the Prime Minister also faced criticism from his own benches.

Conservative former minister Julian Smith urged Johnson to reset the Government’s policy on refugees and introduce a “more human approach”.

The MP for Skipton and Ripon said: “I commend the Prime Minister’s response to this Ukrainian crisis, but I think people across the country are genuinely concerned on our response on refugees, on the bureaucracy, on the tone of our response.

“He has shown with vaccines that Government change really comes from the very top. Please, can I urge him to look at again on resetting our policy and taking control of a more humane approach to those women and men fleeing from Ukraine?”

Johnson replied: “I hope he will have heard what I have just said in my earlier answer to the leader of the SNP, which is that this Government has done, I think, unlike any other in our understanding of what refugees can give and the benefits to this country.

“We have done more than any other to resettle vulnerable people since 2015. I think there is a huge opportunity now for us to do even more, that’s why my right honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, will be setting out a route by which the British people, not just the family reunion route which can run into the hundreds of thousands, but also a route by which everybody in this country can offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine.”