Sophie Ridge asked the home secretary Suella Braverman whether it was ‘a bit weird’ that her ‘dream’ is to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda in a car crash interview Sunday morning.
At the Birmingham Tory Party conference last year, the home secretary made the contentious statement, saying: “I would love to have a front page of the Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda. That’s my dream, it’s my obsession.”
Ridge said: “Do you think that sounds a bit weird? That it’s you dream, your obsession, to see a plan taking off to Rwanda?”
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Suella Braverman declines to give deadline to begin Rwanda flights
Suella Braverman also declined to say when flights to Rwanda could take off, as she appeared to downplay suggestions that the stalled policy of deporting asylum seekers could begin this summer.
The Home Secretary also insisted that ministers were looking at “all sorts of land and sites and vessels” to house asylum seekers in the UK, but refused to say whether the Government was close to signing a deal on a procuring a barge.
Ms Braverman on Sunday could not say when flights to Rwanda would take off, telling Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme instead: “We are making very steady progress.
“I am not going to give a deadline as to when flights will take off.”
The Government’s plan to forcibly remove migrants to the African nation is currently grounded by the courts. It was deemed lawful by the High Court, but legal challenges continue.
Later on the BBC, Ms Braverman declined to confirm a Sun On Sunday report that ministers are close to signing a contract with Portland Port Authority over “floating accommodation for asylum seekers”.
She told the Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme that ministers were looking at “all sorts of land and sites and vessels” for migrant accommodation.
Related: Braverman insists Rwanda IS safe – despite refugees being killed for protesting