Therese Coffey has insisted she was not involved in a mix up after hitting out at Labour’s shadow home secretary over her use of the phrase “Kigali government” in the Commons.
The former deputy prime minister said she was affronted by Yvette Cooper’s description of the Rwandan government during Wednesday’s Commons debate on the Government’s asylum bill.
“I was somewhat astonished by the speech of the shadow Home Secretary, who cannot even get the name of the country right, talking about the Kigali government when we are talking about Rwanda – a respected country that has recently been president of the Commonwealth,” Ms Coffey told MPs.
Ms Cooper, who has led Labour’s attack on the Rwanda policy, was referencing the fact the capital of the East African country is Kigali.
Ms Coffey’s intervention raised eyebrows among some social media users, with the Suffolk Coastal MP later insisting she took issue with the “disrespect” shown to Rwanda.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, she said: “Some keyboard snipers moaning that I criticised the opposition for referring to the Kigali government, not the Rwandan government.
“I would not call the French government, the Paris government nor the Scottish government, the Edinburgh government. Why disrespect Rwanda?”
The former environment secretary rejected the idea she had misunderstood Ms Cooper’s remarks.
“Of course, Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda,” she said.
“The Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol is one of the most important agreements to strive towards net zero focusing on the phase down of HFCs. It is a key part of keeping 1.5 alive.”