Sunak handed major boost as first failed asylum seeker sent to Rwanda

Sunak handed major boost as first failed asylum seeker sent to Rwanda

WATCH NOW: Government loses contact with more than half of those set for Rwanda flights

GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 30/04/2024

- 20:27

Updated: 01/05/2024

- 08:02

The unnamed man's applictaion to stay in the UK was rejected in 2023

The first failed asylum seeker has been relocated to Rwanda in what is being described as a successful "proof of concept" flight.

The unnamed migrant left Britain on Monday evening and has since landed in Kigali.

The man, whose bid to stay in the UK was rejected in 2023, opted to be relocated to the African country for a new life.

Departing on a commercial flight, he was given £3,000 from the British taxpayer to relocate as part of the deal set up between the UK and Rwanda.

A flight going to Rwanda with insets of Rishi Sunak and migrants crossing the Channel

Sunak handed major boost as 'first migrant sent to Rwanda' in successful 'proof of concept'


The relocation was made under a scheme separate from the forced deportation scheme.

Whitehall was reportedly relieved when the first asylum seeker was transported to the third country without a hitch, dubbed as a successful "proof of concept".

A source told the Sun: "This proves it's possible and legal for Britain to remove failed asylum seekers to Rwanda successfully and smoothly."

Former UKIP leader and GB News Presenter Nigel Farage said: "Don't be conned by this new Government spin on the Rwanda deal.

"This African man, who did not even cross the Channel, was refused asylum and has voluntarily accepted £3,000 and free board.

"It won't stop the boats."


Rwanda Suella BravermanFormer Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, visiting the potential migrant housing estate in Kigali, RwandaPA

The Rwanda Bill became law last week when it was finally granted Royal Assent in the House of Lords.

The announcement has triggered the formal start of the plan to fly illegally arrived migrants to Rwanda, with flights initially being expected to take off in 10 to 12 weeks.

Home Secretary James Cleverly has insisted spending money on the Rwanda scheme was "absolutely worth it" and that the Government would "keep those flights going until we stop the boats".

During a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, Cleverly said managing borders "has never come for free" and told those wanting to delay the plan that there is "nothing moral about allowing people to drown in the sea at the hands of criminals".

Earlier this month, Sunak vowed to quit the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if Strasbourg continues to block attempts to get flights to Rwanda.

He said that controlling illegal migration is "more important" than membership of the ECHR, saying he would not let a "foreign court" interfere with a policy that is "fundamental to our sovereignty".

Rishi Sunak

Whitehall was reportedly relieved when the first asylum seeker was transported to the third country


Last week, experts at the United Nations warned that airlines flying asylum seekers to Rwanda risk breaching human rights laws.

The experts from the UN Human Rights Council issued a statement arguing that airlines should know the legal risk of deporting illegal immigrants.

"Even if the UK-Rwanda agreement and the ‘Safety of Rwanda’ bill are approved, airlines and aviation regulators could be complicit in violating internationally protected human rights and court orders by facilitating removals to Rwanda," the statement said.

GB News has approached the Home Office for comment.

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