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Rwanda migrants — live: Truss says plan ‘completely moral’ ahead of new legal challenges


<p>Demonstrators protest outside the Home Office in London against plans to send migrants to Rwanda</p>

Demonstrators protest outside the Home Office in London against plans to send migrants to Rwanda

(PA Wire)

Foreign secretary has insisted the government’s policy to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda is “completely moral” after the Church of England’s senior bishops condemned the plan.

Liz Truss told reporters this morning that “our policy is completely legal, it’s completely moral”. The Church of England had said the plan “should shame us as a nation”.

The comments came after a last-ditch legal effort to block the first flight to Rwanda was rejected yesterday by the Court of Appeal.

Judges upheld a high court ruling last week which found that the removals could go ahead.

The border force workers union PCS, and two charities — Care4Calais and Detention Action — had appealed the decision.

Care4Calais said last night that only seven people were approved for removal on Tuesday’s flight after successful individual challenges in recent days.

Meanwhile, Home Office sources revealed to the Guardian that there was a risk that the first deportation flight to Rwanda carrying asylum seekers could be cancelled.

Three more people, who are due to be on today’s flight, are expected to challenge the decision in the courts.

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Liz Truss: Rwanda flights policy is ‘completely moral’

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has defended the government’s policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda after senior bishops criticised it.

Ms Truss told Sky News that the plan was “completely moral”. She added that she did not agree with the bishops’ criticism, saying: “The people who are immoral in this case are the people traffickers trading in human misery.”

“Those people need to suggest an alternative policy that will work.

“Our policy is completely legal, it’s completely moral.

“What I’m saying to the critics of the policy who don’t have an alternative about how we deal with this illegal migration, is they don’t have an alternative, they are criticising our policy which is effective and does work.”

Holly Bancroft14 June 2022 07:37

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Liz Truss: We are expecting to send Rwanda flight today

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has said that the government expects to send asylum seekers on a flight to Rwanda today despite the number of passengers reaching single figures.

There are currently seven people who are scheduled to be on the flight after the number was whittled down by legal challenges.

Ms Truss said this morning that those criticising the policy need to come up with an alternative for dealing with illegal migration.

(EPA)

Holly Bancroft14 June 2022 07:23

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Home Office source says deportation flight at risk of getting cancelled

Home Office sources revealed to the Guardian that there was a risk that the first deportation flight to Rwanda — carrying asylum seekers — could be cancelled after the legal challenges meant that fewer than 10 people were expected to be on board.

“I think it could be cancelled,” said a government source. “This is due to individual cases rather than a blanket challenge.”

One charity, Care4Calais, said on Monday there were fewer than eight.

Meanwhile, UNHCR has said that Rwanda does not have the capacity to process the claims, and that “there is a risk some migrants could be returned to countries from which they had fled.”

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 07:15

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Government willing to fly even one asylum seeker to Rwanda, PM’s spokesperson says

The number of asylum seekers on the first charter plane deporting them to Rwanda has dwindled from 130 to seven. However, Downing Street refused to rule out sending an entire charter plane with only one asylum seeker on board.

The refugee charity, Care4Calais group, said only seven people were approved for removal on Tuesday’s flight after successful individual challenges in recent days.

But the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “I’m not aware of there being a set limit.”

The Mirror reported that the spokesperson claimed that the current approach was costing taxpayers £1.5bn each year, including almost £5m a day accommodating asylum seekers in hotels.

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 07:00

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Migrants will be treated with ‘safety, dignity and respect’, says Rwanda high commissioner

Rwanda’s high commissioner to the UK, Johnston Busingye, lashed out at the critics of the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers and said that they will be treated with “safety, dignity and respect.”

He said that his country will be a “safe haven” for them and that he was “disappointed” that critics had questioned Rwanda’s motives for agreeing to the scheme.

His comments came after it emerged that fewer than 10 migrants are expected to be on the first flight to Rwanda on Tuesday.

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 06:50

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UN refugee chief calls deportation policy ‘all wrong’

Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, has condemned the UK’s plan to deport Rwanda asylum seekers and described the policy as “all wrong.”

Mr Grandi said: “The precedent that this creates is catastrophic for a concept that needs to be shared, like asylum.”

In a statement, the UN refugee chief underscored that the UK is a signatory to the International Convention on Refugees and said that “trying to export the responsibilities” that this entailed, “runs contrary to any notion of responsibility and international responsibility-sharing.”

Mr Grandi emphasised: “I mean, saving people from dangerous journeys is great, is absolutely great, but is that the right way to do it? Is that the real motivation for this deal to happen? I don’t think so.”

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 06:30

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Tory MPs cheer decision to allow first Rwanda deportation flight

Conservative MPs cheered in the House of Commons after it emerged a last-ditch legal bid to block the first Rwanda deportation flight had failed.

Seven people are due to be on board Tuesday’s flight to the east African country after Court of Appeal judges rejected the challenge to a High Court judge’s refusal to grant an injunction.

Read the full story here:

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 06:15

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Only seven asylum seekers set to be on Rwanda deportation flight after dozens of successful appeals

The first Rwanda deportation flight appears to be in doubt after a series of legal challenges have pushed the number of asylum seekers booked onboard into single figures.

The refugee charity, Care4Calais group, said only seven people were approved for removal on Tuesday’s flight after successful individual challenges in recent days.

Up to 130 people were told they could be sent to Rwanda under home secretary Priti Patel’s highly controversial scheme. But the Home Office said last week that 31 people were due to leave on the first flight.

Read the full story by Adam Forrest here:

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 06:00

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Senior leadership of Church of England calls deportation plan ‘immoral policy’

The senior leadership of the Church of England has said that the plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is an “immoral policy that shames Britain.”

In a letter to the Times, the archbishops of Canterbury and York and the other 23 bishops say that “whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation.”

It adds: “The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries.”

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 05:45

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Final legal challenges to be heard before flight

Three more asylum seekers — who are due to take a deportation flight on Tuesday — are planning a legal action before their flight, it was reported.

They are among the eight who are on the passenger list for Tuesday’s flight to Rwanda, BBC reported.

On Monday, three Court of Appeal judges rejected a last-ditch legal bid to block the first flight that will deport Rwandan asylum seekers back to their country.

The flight is expected to cost more than £500,000 but ministers have said that this will disrupt the traffickers’ business.

A government spokesperson was quoted as saying that more last-minute legal challenges are expected but maintained that “we will not be deterred” from starting the flights.

Maroosha Muzaffar14 June 2022 05:21



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