Rishi Sunak suggests Rwanda flights will not take off before
election

Rishi Sunak suggests Rwanda flights will not take off before election

Rishi Sunak has suggested that the first Rwanda flights will not take off before the general election.

The prime minister said the first Rwanda flights “will go in July” if the Conservatives win the election, which will be held on 4 July. “We have already put the preparations in place for that”, he added.

At the end of April, the prime minister said the first deportation flights would take off in “10 to 12 weeks”, putting the date at June or July.

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At the time, Sunak insisted: “No ifs, no buts, these flights are going to Rwanda”.

“I can confirm that we have put an airfield on standby, booked commercial charter planes for specific slots and we have 500 highly trained individuals ready to escort illegal migrants all the way to Rwanda with 300 more trained in the coming weeks”, he said.

Rwanda Bill: Rishi Sunak vows deportation flights will begin in ’10 to 12 weeks’

Labour leader Keir Starmer has consistently said that no deportation flights to Rwanda will take off under a Labour government.

One of Starmer’s six main election pledges, or “first steps” for government, is to set up a new Border Security Command with hundreds of new specialist investigators to tackle smuggling gangs.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Thursday morning, Sunak said: “If I’m re-elected as prime minister on July 5, these flights will go, we will get our Rwanda scheme up and running.”

The prime minister referred to Labour’s policy to scrap the deportation plan, saying “we won’t have that programme, we won’t have that scheme, we won’t have a deterrent”.

Speaking to GB News earlier on Thursday morning, the prime minister explained that Labour would make the UK the “soft touch of Europe” on illegal migration and would do “absolutely nothing” to stop small boat Channel crossings.

He claimed that much of Europe was now backing his Rwanda migrant deportation plan and the “only person that doesn’t is Keir Starmer”.

Sunak said: “Everyone else is starting to agree with my approach which is bold. The one person that doesn’t is Keir Starmer.

“That is a choice at this election. He thinks that we should just offer an amnesty to illegal migrants, to make us a soft touch of Europe, it would make us a magnet for thousands of migrants coming from everywhere.”

He added: “It is pretty clear that on this issue, not only does he not share the country’s values that it is a problem, he is going to do absolutely nothing about it.”

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