Andrew RT Davies claims Labour are ‘on the side of people traffickers’ over Rwanda flights opposition
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has claimed that Labour are “on the side of people traffickers” over their opposition to the Government’s plans to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda.
He was echoing comments made by Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, who was censured by the chair after also claiming that Labour was “on the side of the people-traffickers who would risk people’s lives at sea”.
Labour have criticised the UK Government’s policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda on the grounds of cost and practicality.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper responded that the Rwanda situation is “a shambles”, telling Home Secretary Priti Patel: “This is not and never has been a serious policy and she knew that when she chartered the plane.”
Yesterday Wales’ First Minister had also blasted the UK Government’s first flight removing asylum seekers to Rwanda as “cruel and inhuman” and a “new low for the UK Government”.
“Today is a dark day for the UK,” he said. “This policy is a new low for the UK Government – and a cruel and inhumane response to those seeking safety and sanctuary in our country.”
Labour: On the side of people traffickers.
— Andrew RT Davies (@AndrewRTDavies) June 15, 2022
Andrew RT Davies’ message, posted on social media, drew criticism from users who said that it was “desperate stuff”.
“Look at yourself man – and ask whether those around you would see this as a good look.,” Gareth Hardman said.
“This is an awful thing to say. When you think someone can’t get any lower…they prove you wrong and produce a tweet like this,” Meinir Hughes said.
“That’s a very strong allegation to put in writing Andrew,” Andrew Edwards said.
‘All options on the table’
Earlier the UK Government threatened to pull out of Europe’s human rights framework after legal rulings blocked their plans to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Asked if the Government could withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are keeping all options on the table including any further legal reforms that may be necessary.
“We will look at all of the legislation and processes in this round.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel told MPs that three of the asylum seekers set to be on the first flight to Rwanda on Tuesday night had their removal blocked by the Strasbourg-based court, which interprets the ECHR.
She added that it was “inevitable” there would be legal challenges to the Government’s policy.
But she added: “This Government will not be deterred from doing the right thing. We will not be put off by the inevitable legal last-minute challenges.”
In a reference to protests against the plans, she added: “Nor will we allow mobs to block removals.”
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