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James Cleverly humiliated as recording of aide describing ‘crap’ Rwanda policy leaks

HOME SECRETARY James Cleverly was left red-faced today after a recording of his parliamentary aide describing the Rwanda policy as “crap” was leaked to the BBC. 

James Sunderland, who is standing for re-election in Bracknell, made the comments after asking if no-one was recording at a Young Conservatives’ event in April.

“The policy is crap, OK? It’s crap,” he said, but argued that the effect of the policy was what mattered. “There is no doubt at all that when those first flights take off, that it will send such a shockwave across the Channel that the gangs will stop.” 

On Sky News today Mr Cleverly insisted that Mr Sunderland was “very supportive” of the plan to send asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to the east African country.

He said: “I’ve had a conversation with him and I’ve also heard the recording and it’s clear what he’s doing is he’s putting forward a very counterintuitive statement to grab the attention of the audience. He did it clearly for dramatic effect to grab the attention of the audience.”

In the recording, Mr Sunderland also criticised colleagues for courting controversy, naming MPs Jonathan Gullis and Brendan Clarke-Smith as those who “polarise opinion,” alongside former Tory Lee Anderson, who switched to Reform in March.

Mr Sunderland told the BBC he was disappointed at being recorded at a private event.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson told the BBC: “If the Conservatives thought that this plan around Rwanda was going to work, that they were going to get flights off the ground, I’m not sure they would have called the election for now.”

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