A former Tory leader has launched a brazen attack on Rishi Sunak’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Ruth Davidson, who led the Scottish Conservative Party between 2011 and 2019, said “there are dogs in the street who know this will probably never happen”.
And he said that even if the deportation flights were successful, they would “make little difference” to the overall level of illegal immigration.
His comments came after the prime minister defeated a Tory rebellion to gain House of Commons support for the Rwanda Security Bill.
Sunak said the bill would eventually make deportation flights to the east African country possible – and has asked the House of Lords not to block it.
But when appearing on the Today program podcast, Davidson – now a Conservative peer – disagreed with the policy.
He said: “This thing about flying people to Rwanda – I mean, there are dogs on the road who know that it will probably never happen, and if it does, the numbers will be so small it will generate very little revenue. the difference is in the profits.”Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
Jane Barlow – PA Image via Getty Images
Sunak yesterday refused to guarantee that any flights to Rwanda would take off this year.
He would only say that it would happen “as soon as possible.”
Davidson also called for more “balance” in the immigration debate.
He said: “Let’s have a debate about immigration. Every sovereign nation must be responsible for who enters; not everyone has the right to go to every country in the world – I understand all that very well.
“But where is the balance in this, compared to some of the languages that are being used, some of the knots that people are dealing with?”