Suella Braverman 'warned PM six times' his Rwanda plan could fail

Suella Braverman 'warned PM six times' his Rwanda plan could fail

11/19/2023

Suella Braverman ‘sent Rishi Sunak six letters’ warning his Rwanda migrant plan could fail – as PM ‘scrambles to send Home Office officials to African country’ to boost their asylum system

Suella Braverman sent Rishi Sunak six letters warning his Rwanda migrant plan risked failing before she was sacked as home secretary, it has been claimed.

The Prime Minister was this week dealt a devastating blow when the Supreme Court ruled his efforts to send asylum seekers to the east African country were unlawful.

Mr Sunak has since pledged to agree a new treaty with Rwanda and rush through emergency legislation in Parliament in order to get migrant flights up and running.

He is also reported to be ramping up the deployment of Home Office officials to Rwanda in order to help support the country’s asylum system. 

The PM is under huge pressure from the Tory Right to get the scheme working as part of his pledge to ‘stop the boats’ amid the Channel migrant crisis.

There has even been speculation about a possible leadership challenge if Mr Sunak stalls on offering a robust response to the judges’ decision.

Amid the fallout from the Supreme Court’s damaging ruling, allies of Mrs Braverman have fumed at Mr Sunak after he ‘failed to heed’ her warnings.

Suella Braverman sent Rishi Sunak six letters warning his Rwanda migrant plan risked failing before she was sacked as home secretary, it has been claimed

The Prime Minister was this week dealt a devastating blow when the Supreme Court ruled his efforts to send asylum seekers to the east African country were unlawful

The PM is under huge pressure from the Tory Right to get the scheme working as part of his pledge to ‘stop the boats’ amid the Channel migrant crisis

Rwanda plan ‘probably dead’ in its current form – ex-Supreme Court judge

The Government’s Rwanda plan is ‘probably dead’ in its current form, former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption claimed today.

When asked on the Sky News whether the scheme is ‘dead’, he replied: ‘I think the current Rwanda scheme is probably dead, but we obviously have to suspend judgment until we see what this legislation or this new treaty looks like.’

Lord Sumption also suggested judges in Strasbourg would come to a similar view of the scheme’s legality as UK Supreme Court justices.

He said: ‘The Government have made clear… that they don’t intend to do that (withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights). 

‘Although the Government may well ignore interim orders from Strasbourg, they presumably intend to comply with final orders from Strasbourg.

‘It (the Strasbourg court) will investigate safety for itself and probably arrive at a conclusion very similar to that of the Supreme Court.’

He also said he is ‘sceptical’ of reported plans to send British civil servants to work in the east African country, adding: ‘The main problem (with the) scheme is that it outsources to Rwanda the decision about whether people have refugee status.’

A Tory source told the Sun on Sunday: ‘Suella was always clear about what was needed to stop the boats from the minute she came in as home ­secretary.

‘That never changed. It was very tense at times – she got more of what she wanted in negotiations, but never enough.

‘Rishi and No 10 repeatedly failed to heed her warnings that we could lose in the courts and needed other options as well as a much tougher approach.’

The source added: ‘Now we are miles behind in the polls. The buck stops with Sunak.’

In an interview with the Mail On Sunday, Mrs Braverman warned Mr Sunak he was ‘running out of time’ ahead of the general election to deliver on his promise to stop the boats.

She said: ‘I welcome the PM’s announcement that he wants to introduce emergency legislation, something for which I’ve been calling for several months, which he blocked.

‘I’m very glad he changed his view in the last few days but this needs to be meaningful change in the law and tweaking and fine-tuning is not going to cut it… and we will not get flights off before the next general election.’

But No10 insiders hit back and pointed to Mrs Braverman’s past comments, from when she was home secretary, in which she boasted about ‘progress’ on the Rwanda plan and hailed how she’d led work on passing the Illegal Migration Act.

They questioned whether voters should should have believed the home secretary who spoke proudly in public about the Government’s efforts, or the one who wrote letters in case there was an adverse outcome in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reported the PM will station more Home Office officials in Rwanda in order to support the east African country’s asylum system.

It was claimed the action would be seen as vindication for Mrs Braverman, who pressed for the move while home secretary.

A senior Government source told the newspaper that preparations were underway to ‘step up Home Office people who will be doing training and assisting with case working in Rwanda, so that their system is as robust as possible’.

They added that Supreme Court judges, when they ruled on ministers’ plans, had not been able to take into account the ‘additional work’ that has been taking place with Rwanda over the past year to improve the country’s processes. 

Another senior Government source pointed out the Home Office already had officials in Rwanda in an advisory role, and had done for a long time before the Supreme Court ruling or Mrs Braverman’s departure as home secretary.

The Home Office said it would not comment on speculation around future ways of working.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt today backed Mr Sunak to to solve the ‘fearsomely complex’ challenge of getting the Rwanda scheme to work after the Supreme Court decision.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Mr Hunt conceded the policy ‘isn’t easy stuff’ but said Mr Sunak is the ‘most persistent, the most determined prime minister I have ever worked with’.

He suggested Mr Sunak is more determined than Lord David Cameron, who recently returned from the political wilderness to become Foreign Secretary in a Cabinet reshuffle.

‘I enjoyed working with David Cameron very much, but when it comes to solving fearsomely complex problems I have never worked with anyone as phenomenal as Rishi,’ the Chancellor said.

‘I think we will see that, because I do think, when you interview me next year, we will be having a discussion about how we have succeeded in this plan, and I will be saying “look, it wasn’t easy, we kept at it, but that is what we promise to do”.’

A Government spokesman told the Sun on Sunday: ‘As the PM has set out, we were prepared for all outcomes of the Supreme Court case.

‘That is why we have been working on a treaty with Rwanda, providing a guarantee in law that those re-located there will be protected against being removed.

‘And we’ll bring in emergency legislation to end the merry-go-round of litigation in our domestic courts.

‘We are fully focused on making our Rwanda plan operational as swiftly as possible, delivering on our commitment to stop the boats.’

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