Redacted documents about the government’s Rwanda plan have been leaked, sparking outrage on social media.
BBC’s Mark Easton has sent a series of tweets discussing the information held in the files.
He reveals that official Home Office documents show that in February 2021, Rwanda was “assessed as presenting substantial issues in relation to asylum systems and human rights” and received an “Amber/Red” rating on account of “significant, well documented human rights concerns”.
Officials “repeatedly warned Priti Patel of Rwanda’s poor human rights record”, Easton reveals, but she repeatedly assured the Commons that Rwanda was safe “with an outstanding track record”.
The UK High Commissioner to Rwanda also sent a memo advising against an asylum deal with the country, warning of the “heavy-handed” security and cautioning that the deal could “cause problems reputationally”.
Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, said the government’s plan was a “total mess”.
She added the documents showed the government was “not serious about cracking down on the criminal gangs or preventing dangerous boat crossings and is hiding behind unworkable, damaging gimmicks instead”.
But a UK government spokesperson said: “Rwanda is a safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers.
“We remain committed to delivering this policy to break the business model of criminal gangs and save lives.”