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14th Mar 2022

Andy Serkis slams Priti Patel over Ukraine refugee crisis in powerful Bafta speech

Charlie Herbert

Andy Serkis slams Priti Patel

Stephen Graham’s reaction said it all

Andy Serkis delivered one of the key moments of Sunday night’s Baftas with his speech slamming Priti Patel for her response to Ukraine’s refugee crisis.

The actor and director, best known for his work in motion capture playing characters such as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars sequels, ridiculed the home secretary for her and the government’s handling of Ukrainians looking to enter the UK after fleeing their country following Russia’s invasion.

On Sunday, Michael Gove confirmed that just 3,000 visas had been issued to Ukrainians fleeing following Russia’s invasion.

And last week, the home office revealed that just 300 visas have been issued out of a total of 17,700 family scheme applications which had been started. This works out at just 1.7 per cent of applications being approved.

Delivering his intro before presenting the award for Best Director, Serkis said: “A world-class director is a visionary empowered to change the world with a story that they are burning to tell.

“Bringing together and leading a huge family of supremely talented strangers on a difficult and chaotic journey, whilst hopefully creating an atmosphere that inspires inclusivity and values every single member of that family equally,” he added.

The filmmaker then took aim at the Home Secretary, saying: “So it is no surprise that Priti Patel on her debut feature ‘Hostile Environment’ found enormous problems.

“And that her follow-up movie ‘All refugees are welcome but some are more welcome than others’ is a complete nightmare.”

Cue rapturous applause from all present, and a “perfect” reaction from Stephen Graham.

Another person added: “Andy Serkis taking aim at Priti Patel about refugees being welcomed into the UK. King s**t. DRAG HER.”

A third wrote: “Kudos to Andy Serkis for giving the dig to Priti Patel in his #BAFTA intro. Never let these f**kers sleep.”

The award for best director was won by Jane Campion for her western, Power of the Dog, which also won the award for best film.

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