Rwanda Row: Ministers Clock Up Over £400,000 in Flight Expenses to Rwanda

The costs surrounding the United Kingdom’s asylum policy with Rwanda, where ministers’ travels have clocked a staggering expenditure exceeding £400,000, have drawn sharp criticism. Here’s the full story.

Flagship Policy

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The flagship Conservative policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda has stirred controversy for many reasons: the unsuitability of Rwanda as a safe place for asylum seekers to be held, the breaking of international law required for the scheme to be enacted and the shameful treatment of people whose only crime is to seek safety in the United Kingdom. 

High Costs

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However, new figures have added a new element of contention to the policy: the cost of setting up the scheme in the first place. 

Significant Amounts

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Since the policy’s inception in 2022, ministers and officials have spent significant amounts of money on trips to Rwanda. 

Mountains of Cash

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Despite the mountains of cash being thrown into the seemingly bottomless Rwanda pit, the actual implementation of the deportation flights remains pending. 

Financial Commitment

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New figures disclosed by the Labour Party highlight the substantial financial commitment the UK Government has made in the attempts to get the Rwanda scheme off the ground. 


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A staggering £413,541 has been expended on travel expenses alone, a sum accrued over two years in efforts linked to the asylum policy development.

Minister’s Trips

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The expenditure encompasses trips undertaken by prominent figures within the UK government, including James Cleverly, Suella Braverman, and Priti Patel. 

Private Jet

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Notably, Cleverly’s one-day journey to sign a treaty with Rwanda in December cost the eye-watering sum of £165,561, predominantly for chartering a private jet.

Government Criticism

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The Labour Party, through Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock, has vehemently criticised the government’s spending spree in Rwanda. 

“Wasn’t Insulting Enough”

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Kinnock stated, “Having clearly decided that committing £600m of taxpayers’ money to the Rwandan government for just 300 refugees wasn’t insulting enough, it now emerges that three home secretaries have blown hundreds of thousands of pounds on their various publicity stunts in Rwanda. This government’s enthusiasm for wasting taxpayers’ money knows no bounds.”

“Redirect the Cash”

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He continued, “Labour would redirect the cash set aside for Rwanda into a cross-border police unit and security partnership to smash the criminal smuggler gangs at source and introduce a new returns unit to quickly remove those with no right to be here.”

Persistent Efforts

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Despite the government’s persistent efforts, legal challenges have impeded the execution of the Rwanda policy. 

Successive Delays

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Initially proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in April 2022, the plan to deport asylum seekers via Rwanda is yet to materialise, with successive delays hindering its enactment.

Peer Pushback

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The plan is currently working its way through the House of Lords, but following significant pushback from peers, it is estimated that the bill will not be voted on until April.

Hurdles Remain

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Despite the government’s hopes that the plan will take the sting out of immigration as an issue, significant hurdles remain, such as the Home Office’s inability to find an airline willing to take on the negative publicity associated with flying the asylum seekers to Rwanda.

“Jump the Queue”

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Rishi Sunak defended his government’s plans, stating, “People should not be able to jump the queue, come here illegally, put pressure on local services, undermine our sense of fairness and ultimately put their lives at risk as they are exploited by gangs.” 

“Stop the Boats”

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He continued, “That’s why I am determined to stop the boats. Our plan is working, the numbers last year were down by a third. That’s never happened before; that shows that we are making progress.”

Harsh Criticism

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Despite the government’s assurances that the plan is working, the amount of money spent on it has drawn harsh criticism. 

Signing Treaties

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Cleverly’s high-cost trip to Rwanda in December focused on the signing of a treaty to establish an appellate body comprising asylum experts from various countries. 

Individual Claims

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This initiative aims to enhance the adjudication process for individual asylum cases, streamlining decision-making procedures.

£1.8 Million

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The government’s intention to allocate £1.8 million per asylum seeker slated for relocation to Rwanda has sparked significant backlash.

Exorbitant Costs

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Critics contend that the scheme’s exorbitant costs, exceeding half a billion pounds, raise questions regarding its financial viability and overall efficacy.

Fraught With Challenges

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As the UK grapples with exactly what it can legally get away with regarding asylum seekers, its engagement with Rwanda is a contentious issue fraught with financial implications and logistical challenges. 

Reassessment of Priorities

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While the government underscores the necessity of such measures in deterring irregular migration, critics argue for a reassessment of priorities, particularly concerning the ever-growing amount of money required to get the plan over the finish line. 

Cruel, Unnecessary and Illegal

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Many are questioning using such exorbitant amounts of money on a scheme that has been criticised as cruel, unnecessary, and illegal. 

Uncertain Future

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Though the plan will be voted on in April, the future trajectory of the Rwanda policy and what its implementation would mean for asylum seekers remain to be determined. 

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The post Rwanda Row: Ministers Clock Up Over £400,000 in Flight Expenses to Rwanda first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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