- The comments could undermine its position as the entity responsible for removing ground-based flights
James Cleverly opposed the Rwanda program ahead of his move to the Home Office, saying it was a “waste of money” that “won’t work”, as was claimed yesterday.
The new Minister of Internal Affairs was also accused of making no progress in negotiations with other countries on the introduction of programs similar to Rwanda during his work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Cleverly’s comments – allegedly made at a ministerial meeting just two months ago – could undermine his position as a minister who has now been tasked by Rishi Sunak to begin deportation flights by the spring.
His alleged comments are also likely to anger the Tory right amid growing pressure from Cleverly’s predecessor Suella Braverman to take the UK out of European human rights laws.
In the photo, Mr Cleverly stated that he did not accept claims that he described Rwanda’s policy as “bat*”
The comments come amid growing pressure from Cleverly’s predecessor Suella Braverman (pictured) to take the UK out of European human rights laws
A Home Office source told the Mail: “He cleverly said the words: ‘This plan for Rwanda won’t work and it’s a waste of money. We should focus on other measures.”
“As foreign minister, he also failed to make progress in negotiations with other third countries. He hates the Rwanda plan and thinks it’s bullshit. Earlier this week, Cleverly said he did not believe in claims that he described Rwanda’s policy as “batshit.”
In his previous role as Foreign Secretary, Cleverly was partly responsible for overseeing negotiations with countries potentially willing to accept asylum seekers from the UK. But sources said his opposition to the plan hampered progress in securing the deal.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister presented a new plan to launch the program for Rwanda after it was found unlawful by the Supreme Court.
Rishi Sunak has unveiled a new plan to launch the scheme in Rwanda after it was ruled unlawful by the High Court
Basic image of migrants arriving on the Kent coast after crossing the English Channel
The new treaty with Rwanda – due to be published on Monday – will aim to address the judges’ main objections to the plan and will be binding under international law. Moreover, the “extraordinary” new emergency rules will ensure that Parliament ensures that Rwanda is a safe country to which to expel immigrants.
But in a new speech yesterday, former Home Secretary Mrs Braverman, who was sacked by the Prime Minister on Monday, said the new plan did not go far enough.
She warned that the Rwanda program was doomed to failure unless the UK exempted it from all human rights laws.
Calling Sunak’s proposals an “improved version” of the failed Plan A rather than an effective Plan B, Ms Braverman called for emergency legislation blocking “all avenues of challenge”.
The Home Office did not respond to requests for comment on Mr Cleverly’s alleged comments.