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REFUGEE campaigners slammed Rishi Sunak’s pig-headedness today after he vowed to drive through Rwanda plans despite the policy deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court.
The Prime Minister told broadcasters in Dubai during his trip to the Cop28 climate talks that the government is “finalising” legislation to push through his “vital” Rwanda asylum plan as his “patience is worn thin” by delays.
He declined to say how much more money he would spend to get the scheme off the ground and stressed he is eager to “finish the job” after the plan to send some asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to the African nation.
Natasha Tsangarides, associate director of advocacy at Freedom from Torture, said: “It’s contemptible to see the government forging ahead with new legislation when, only a few short weeks ago, the highest court in the land ruled that the ‘cash for humans’ Rwanda scheme is unlawful, finding the country unsafe for refugees.
“It’s time for the Prime Minister to draw a line in the sand and put this immoral and costly deal behind him.”
Refugee Council chief Enver Solomon added Mr Sunak was showing “a callous disregard for those who through no fault of their own have lost everything and have come to the UK in search of safety.”
He said: “Government should be focusing on creating a functioning asylum system that allows for a fair hearing on UK soil and provides safe routes so people don’t have to take dangerous journeys.”
Asylum-seekers housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset have meanwhile complained of being served dirty salad leaves and of finding insects in their bedsheets.
Volunteers in contact with the men shared photos of the issues with the Morning Star.
Nicola David, founder of the campaign group One Life to Live, said: “The scandals which have hit the Bibby Stockholm have proven beyond doubt that conditions on board are totally unacceptable — especially for people who are already incredibly vulnerable.
“No-one knows what’s going on, other than when we manage to get information out from the men on board.
“It seems there are just two televisions for an eventual cohort of 506 people. Occupancy is currently a third of that, yet it’s already overcrowded with very long queues for food — and good luck to the people at the end of the queue.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The health and welfare of asylum seekers remains the utmost priority and we work continually to ensure the needs and vulnerabilities of those residing on the vessel are identified and met.”
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