THE government's £75 million package to help Britons stuck overseas return home has been welcomed by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson.

The funding, announced by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, will see Whitehall working in partnership with the airline industry.

East Lancashire has seen a number of people stranded abroad by the travels restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic including Michael McKendry, from Colne, is stranded in Chakswari, Pakistan, along with others after flying over for a wedding on March 9.

Other affected included Christina Vaughan and her friend Andrew Derbyshire, from Burnley, are on board an Antarctic cruise ship refused permission to land in Argentina or Uruguay and Jonathan Bolt, from Burnley, and Gemma Greenwood, from Brierfield trapped in The Phillippines,

Where commercial routes remain feasible airlines, including Virgin, Easyjet, Jet2 and Titan Airways, will be responsible for getting their passengers with pre-booked tickets, home.

Where commercial routes do not exist, the government will provide up to £75 million to enable special charter flights to priority countries to bring back UK residents.

Mr Stephenson said: “I have been contacted by a number of families of people stranded abroad and are understandably worried about their loved ones.

“This package will come as a relief, so they can return home and if anyone here in Pendle has any worries or concerns don’t hesitate to contact me.”

The government has announced that special charter flights for countries with no commercial routes will be prioritised according to the number of stranded British travellers and their vulnerability, including an assessment of the local health provision.