Plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was made possible by Tony Blair, court hears

  • Policy of sending migrants to Rwanda to seek asylum was announced in April
  • But the first flight was stopped by judge at the European Court of Human Rights
  • Some 40 barristers representing migrants seek ruling the scheme is unlawful

Leftie lawyers’ fighting to stop the Government sending Channel migrants to Rwanda were told at the High Court yesterday that Tony Blair had made the scheme possible.

The Tory policy of sending migrants to the central African country to seek asylum there was announced in April, but the first flight was stopped three months ago by a judge at the European Court of Human Rights.

Embarrassingly for Labour, which calls the scheme ‘shameful’, Lord Pannick said the Government’s power to send asylum seekers to any country it deems safe was created by Labour prime minister Mr Blair’s Asylum and Immigration Act in 2004. The former PM is pictured above in January

In the meantime, the number crossing the Channel continues to grow, with 28,000 this year. In 2018 there were less than 300.

Some 40 barristers representing migrants issued with one-way tickets to Rwanda are in London’s High Court seeking a ruling that the scheme is unlawful.

Described by Boris Johnson as ‘Leftie lawyers’, they claim the Home Secretary has no legal power to send refugees to Africa, claiming Rwanda is a murderous, torturing, authoritarian, one-party state.

The Tory policy of sending migrants to the central African country to seek asylum there was announced in April, but the first flight was stopped three months ago by a judge at the European Court of Human Rights. The grounded flight is pictured above

But the Home Secretary’s barrister, Lord Pannick QC, insisted Rwanda was a safe destination, thanks to a £140million agreement with the country’s leader, Paul Kagame.

Embarrassingly for Labour, which calls the scheme ‘shameful’, Lord Pannick said the Government’s power to send asylum seekers to any country it deems safe was created by Labour prime minister Mr Blair’s Asylum and Immigration Act in 2004. 

After it became law, Mr Blair’s government began talks with Rwanda’s neighbour Tanzania about processing the asylum claims of Somalians there.

In the meantime, the number crossing the Channel continues to grow, with 28,000 this year. In 2018 there were less than 300. More migrants are pictured above this week in Dover

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