Simon Hart slammed for defence of Westminster’s Rwanda asylum seekers plans
The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has joined other Welsh politicians in condemning the UK Government’s plans to offshore refugees to Rwanda and says the Secretary of State for Wales should be ‘deeply ashamed’ following his defence of the proposals.
Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has come under attack following comments he made during a round of media appearances this morning.
The announcement has sparked fury with charities warning that the “cruel and nasty decision” to offshore asylum seekers more than 6,000 miles away will fail to address the issue, lead to more human suffering and chaos and cost up to £1.4 billion (much more than the current asylum system).
When questioned about the policy on Sky News this morning, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart described the move as a “really humane step forward” and described Rwanda’s human rights record as “good” despite his own Government slamming the African country over the issue just last year.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart says government plans to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing in an attempt to tackle small boat crossings in the English Channel has the potential to be "groundbreaking."https://t.co/vssksMIvl8
📺 Sky 501 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/3ua8xafxUv
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 14, 2022
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “Once again Simon Hart has shown he has absolutely no backbone. He should be deeply ashamed of himself for defending this cruel and unnecessary policy, it is truly a disgrace.
“The Conservative Government’s plan to offshore refugees thousands of kilometres from the UK is unbelievably cruel.
“The fact they plan to offshore them to an authoritarian police state with numerous human rights abuses only makes it even more sickening.
“A US Government report into human rights in Rwanda highlights the arbitrary killings carried out by security forces in Rwanda, alongside forced disappearances, the abuse of those in detention and a complete disregard for the rule of law.
“If that wasn’t enough the scheme will cost up to £1.4 billion a year to implement, much more than the current asylum system.”
Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd tweeted: “The Tories to outsource their international legal duty to refugees to another continent. This government have the humanitarian instincts of hyenas”.
She accused No 10 “tossing red meat to rabid supporters” and scrabbling for a “figleaf” to salvage Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “shredded reputation” after he received his first fine for attending one of the parties at Downing Street during lockdown.
Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda, who yesterday launched a “blistering” attack on the PM following the ‘Partygate’ fines, accused the Prime Minister of distraction tactics in a series of tweets today: “The Rwanda plan will cost more than putting them up in the Ritz.
“Obviously this announcement should be made in parliament. It only isn’t because the PM is frightened of scrutiny and wants a distraction.
“My bet is the PM will try to get away with a single statement next Tuesday on partygate, Rwanda and Ukraine. The Commons should not allow that conflation. They are discrete issues.”
Tonia Antoniazzi, Labour MP for Gower, said in a tweet “Last year: At the UN, The U.K calls for the Rwandan Government to investigate allegations of human rights violations.
“This year: The U.K Government excitedly prepares to announce plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
“These plans are completely unjustifiable.”
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Well if you needed any more proof that the tories are nothing more than English nationalists, uk will now be known as people traffickers
What solutions do Jane Dodds, Tonia Antoniazzi, Liz Saville-Roberts or Chris Bryant have, I wonder? … Just curious.
Treating refugees and immigrants as human beings in need of help perhaps?
Agreed, but that doesn’t solve the problem.
I thought the interview by Grant Shapps on the Number 10 parties was possibly the low point of the political week but I was sadly quite wrong.
Simon H will i think 🤔 look back on his defence of a short Rwandan break for those seeking to cross the channel in terror far from his best day in public office.
So so sad that this once very decent guy allows himself to be put up to defend such a proposal.
The problem is of the Tories own making. They have closed off all ‘legal’ routes for refugees to seek asylum in the UK. They carry on with the fiction that refugees think that the UK is the ‘Golden Country’. They do not, as always, listen to the evidence. The majority of refugees head for the UK because they have relatives here, or have fellow nationals here who are willing to help them and mostly because they speak English and thus can fit in more quickly. The latter is, of course, a glorious legacy of the Wonderous British Empire. Everybody must… Read more »
Any solution would be humane not ad-hoc like the fascist Tories. These are human beings fleeing warfare and despot regimes. Put yourself in their shoes. It could be you and your family one day.
Yes. Some are fleeing warfare and despot regimes, others are economic migrants. Whatever their background they should be treated humanely, but how do we solve the problem?
Why all the negatives/minuses? It was a serious question.
All we seem to get is comments from the well intentioned (on this site) and lots of vitriol and hate on other sites.
Something obviously needs to be done, but what?
“Something obviously needs to be done, but what?”
But obviously not this Rwandan scheme.
What could possibly go wrong – is the Government’s stance, at least that’s the line they’re spinning to the UK public.
In reality a lot is most likely to go wrong.
Agreed, but my question remains unanswered
Maybe because it’s not an answer that you’re seeking but an answer that you’d like.
That seems a pretty nonsensical response. You’re adding nothing to the debate.
If I knew the answer I liked then I’d not be seeking it, would I?
I’m pointing out that that your – ‘but how do we solve the problem?” question is actually – but how do we solve the problem to my satisfaction?
If we discount satisfying you as an objective there are solutions available.
Set up safe routes by giving asylum seekers the option of applying out of country for permission to travel here would be a good start! At the moment, as I understand it, they can’t apply until they are here, this inevitably puts them into the hands of people traffickers.
Old Brown-Nose Hart is a deplorable apology for a human being, and waste of air. But he is still less despicable than Tory who dreamed this up. Personally, I think it’s a dead cat to deflect from Boris’s present and on-going troubles and that it will never fly. According to the 2001 census, Kinyarwanda, a Bantu language is spoken by 99% of the population, Swahili 20%, and although French and English are both official languages only 8% speak French and just 5% speak English. We must also consider their Human rights record which was abysmal until quite recently and is… Read more »
The appalling fool Hart is not MY ‘Welsh Secretary’ – if he pipes up with his mindless gob again, he is seriously in danger of Wales breaking the ties with Westminster and petitioning loudly for independence.
The sight of that pathetic yes-man Simon Hart defending sending traumatised refugees on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, a poor country that was once witness to the 1994 inter-tribal genocide of 1 million men women & children makes me physically sick.
This Government is totally lacking in anything close to empathy for others who seek our help! We are ALL human beings! we need people to fill many empty jobs, some of these asylum seekers actually have skills we need. We have an aging population , where are the young fit workers going to come from? They obviously are not here are they? Or we would not have so many job vacancies!
Treating vulnerable human beings as a ‘problem’. Then dumping them, like they are worthless, on a small, poor former European colony that is still struggling to overcome its own difficult recent history. For shame!
Refugees and migrants are human beings, not problems!
Long may Cymru be a nation of welcome.
https://www.rte.ie/news/uk/2022/0414/1292297-uk-immigration/ Here is what the UN thinks of this awful plan.
Hart’s Kremlin paymasters call them “filtration camps”.