UK

Priti Patel: ‘Vocal minority’ celebrating Supreme Court’s Rwanda ruling

Former home secretary Priti Patel speaking after Home Secretary James Cleverly made a statement in the House of Commons in London about the Rwanda asylum policy on Wednesday (UK Parliament/Maria Unger/PA)
Former home secretary Priti Patel speaking after Home Secretary James Cleverly made a statement in the House of Commons in London about the Rwanda asylum policy on Wednesday (UK Parliament/Maria Unger/PA) Former home secretary Priti Patel speaking after Home Secretary James Cleverly made a statement in the House of Commons in London about the Rwanda asylum policy on Wednesday (UK Parliament/Maria Unger/PA)

Former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel says the Labour Party and a “vocal minority” are the only people celebrating the Supreme Court ruling which ruled that the Government’s policy of sending migrants to Rwanda was unlawful.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Dame Priti said she knew the partnership with Rwanda would be challenged in the courts when she negotiated the policy, but saw it as a “necessary and vital measure to break the business model of the people smugglers and reduce illegal migration through small boats”.

She said the “weight of public opinion” remains with the plan and “the British people expect action from their Government”.

“While the public are angry, the only people celebrating the Supreme Court’s judgment are the Labour Party, left-wing activists and the vocal minority who oppose robust border controls,” she wrote.

“And, of course, the evil people smuggling gangs, who show contempt for human life and who arrange the illegal small boat crossings that let thousands into our country, will be cheering this decision.”

She said questions will be asked over “how ministers prepared to fight the case”.

“By working on all options to overcome the legal barriers raised, we can get the Rwanda partnership operational, deter illegal migration and deliver the strong border controls the public expect from a Conservative Government.

The Telegraph also reports on fears from Conservative MPs, including axed Home Secretary Suella Braveman, that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s “Plan B” to ensure flights to Rwanda go ahead do not go far enough.

In The Times, Juliet Samuel describes the Rwanda plan as “dead in the water” and says none of the Government’s options “will achieve Rishi Sunak’s promise to ‘stop the boats’ this side of an election”.

“In the absence of fundamental reform, it is almost impossible for a country committed to international law to control its borders,” she wrote, arguing that finding another country more acceptable to the courts than Rwanda “will itself be dragged through the courts over months or years”.

The Prime Minister is in “the fight if his political life” according to the Daily Express.

Michael Knowles said critics of the Rwanda policy “are circling hammering” but Mr Sunak will be more concerned at the presence of Ms Braverman and her allies on the back benches.

Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail argued “this outrage will be the making of” the Prime Minister, saying he showed “ice-blue anger” when he said the British people “expect the boats to be stopped”.

The Daily Mirror described the whole situation as a “Rwanda shambles”.

It said: “The Prime Minister is now promising to use emergency legislation to revamp the scheme in the hope it will comply with the courts.

“It is a perfect example of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.”

In The Sun, political editor Harry Cole said “the Tory party mood ranged from despair on the left to vitriol on the right”.

He said: “Hardliners warned that without serious options, such as reforming the Human Rights Act – or what Mrs Braverman called ‘upsetting polite thought’ – the Government will remain snookered.”

While the Prime Minister puts on a “brave face” amid calls for emergency legislation, he wrote, “without a plane in the air it is just noise and the Tories are running out of time”.