Monarchy, superstar and clergy: Rwanda coverage’s ‘alternative opposition’ | Immigration and asylum

Controversy surrounding the federal government coverage of flying asylum seekers to Rwanda has accrued in depth amid the countdown to the primary deportation flight. It has been argued the coverage is designed as a “wedge” factor, particularly meant to purpose outrage amongst fighters whilst shoring up make stronger within the Tory base. But did Boris Johnson and Priti Patel in point of fact reckon on uniting monarchy, superstar and clergy in a single choice opposition?

The long run king

Given the royals’ “never explain, never complain” coverage, we would possibly by no means know if the Prince of Wales in point of fact did describe the Rwanda coverage as “appalling”. But Clarence House has now not denied the declare that Charles in point of fact did categorical his dismay on the executive’s “whole approach” in a personal dialog.

According to the Times, the long run king made the remarks forward of the Commonwealth heads of presidency assembly in Kigali subsequent week, the place he’ll be deputising for his mom. The Times supply mentioned they heard the 73-year-old inheritor categorical his opposition to the coverage a number of instances and say he was once in particular uncomfortable about it amid fears it could overshadow the summit.

“He said he was more than disappointed at the policy,” the supply mentioned. “He said he thinks the government’s whole approach is appalling. It was clear he was not impressed with the government’s direction of travel.”

A Clarence House spokesperson mentioned: “We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversations with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for government.”

The archbishops

The whole senior management of the Church of England has denounced plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as an “immoral policy that shames Britain”. The archbishops of Canterbury and York and the opposite bishops that take a seat as lords religious within the House of Lords have written a letter to the Times.

The letter says: “Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation.” It provides: “The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries.”

The letter, signed by way of Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell, as archbishops of Canterbury and York, and in addition by way of the bishops of London, Durham, Exeter, Birmingham and Manchester, warns that the ones being deported have now not had a possibility to attraction or to look circle of relatives in Britain. No try has been made to grasp their dilemma, it provides.

“They are the vulnerable that the Old Testament calls us to value,” it provides, explaining that “evil trafficking” will have to be combatted by way of offering secure routes to the United Kingdom to “reduce dangerous journeys”. “Deportations, and the potential forced return of asylum seekers to their home countries, are not the way,” it provides. “This immoral policy shames Britain.”

The Rwanda coverage has additionally been criticised by way of senior Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders.


Celebrities together with Gary Lineker, the Bridgerton actor Adjoa Andoh, the rapper and creator Akala and the artist Tracey Emin all signed a letter to a few airways recognized to have labored prior to now with the Home Office on deportation flights: Titan Airways, Privilege Style and Iberojet.

Other well-known names have expressed their disgust on Twitter.

The Citizen Khan actor Adil Ray wrote: “Today is a shameful day in ‘Great’ British history. We will age as a society with this evil, nasty scar on our nation. There was a time when we tried to insist migrants shared positive ‘British values’. Today we have decided their value lies in selling them with cash to Africa.”

He added: “In the 60s citizens were saying we are already full. Councils placed adverts in Commonwealth countries saying ‘no more Asians’. Campaigners stood at airports insisting they went back. Three of those Asians now sit in the cabinet.”

On Monday the TV presenter Sue Perkins tweeted: “Today, the govt pushed ahead with the most brutal, stupid and damaging responses to problems they created in the first place. This is where xenophobia and ‘sovereignty’ get you; breaking international law and sending asylum seekers to Rwanda. Shameless, the lot of them.”

The comic Frankie Boyle wrote: “The Rwanda flight on the anniversary of Grenfell says everything about the direction we’ve travelled in the last five years.”

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