Published On: Sat, Jul 6th, 2024
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Keir Starmer declares Rwanda immigration plan ‘dead and buried’ | Politics | News

Sir Keir Starmer has declared the Rwanda plan “dead and buried” as he confirmed he had ruthlessly axed the immigration scheme within a day of becoming Prime Minister.

Speaking at his first press conference at Downing Street on Saturday, the country’s new leader was asked whether the controversial proposal to send those arriving in the UK illegally to the African country was no more.

“It was dead and buried before it even started,” he replied.

Rishi Sunak made stopping the boats one of his five key pledges during his time in Downing Street and chose to continue with the proposal from his predecessor-but-one Boris Johnson.

The controversial policy was popular with grassroots Conservatives on the Right but ran into legal wrangles, with the Supreme Court last year declaring it unlawful.

Mr Sunak had promised flights would get off the ground this month had he been re-elected prime minister.

However, Sir Keir pledged to scrap the scheme during Labour’s election campaign, saying it was unworkable and would only deal with 1 percent of illegal arrivals.

He called it an “absolute waste of money” and said that instead of “throwing good money after bad”, he would spend the money on tackling illegal gangs transporting migrants across the Channel.

In one heated debate during the election campaign, Mr Sunak pointedly asked Sir Keir “what will you do with them?” and claimed his opponent had no plan to resolve the thorny issue.

On the day of the General Election, former home secretary James Cleverly warned that in scrapping the Rwanda scheme Sir Keir effectively “would offer an amnesty to illegal migrants”.

He added: “We know higher migration is the last thing hard-working Brits need, but it is what we will get if we sleepwalk into a Labour government.”

On her first day in office, Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said one of the first duties of the Government was to “keep our borders secure” and that a new Border Security Command would be created as a priority.

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