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HomeWorldInterior Minister: Last migrants heading to Rwanda will be released on bail

Interior Minister: Last migrants heading to Rwanda will be released on bail


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Comment on the photo, Migrants cross the English Channel on a small boat

  • author, Ruth Comerford
  • Role, BBC News

The government said the last two migrants detained and waiting to be sent to Rwanda will be released on bail in the coming days.

The Home Secretary’s spokesman also revealed that the previous government had released an additional 218 migrants on bail from detention centres during the election campaign.

They were due to be deported to the east and central African country as part of former prime minister Rishi Sunak’s policy to tackle illegal immigration.

On his first day as prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer insisted the Rwanda deportation plan was “dead and buried”.

In his first press conference since entering government headquarters, the prime minister told reporters the plan was “never a deterrent” because it would only deport “less than 1%” of those arriving on small boats.

Dozens of asylum seekers have been detained since late April, after Rishi Sunak said flights would depart in the first weeks of July.

Under the Conservative government, the Home Office has refused to confirm the number of people arrested for travelling to Rwanda.

The BBC has learned that a total of 220 people have been arrested for deportation to Rwanda under the scheme.

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said she wanted a “new Border Security Chief” appointed over the summer, and a new Border Security Bill included in the Queen’s First Speech.

“If the last prime minister thought it would work, he wouldn’t have called an election before the plane took off.

“During the election campaign, the previous government released 218 people who were being held pending deportation to Rwanda. At present, only two people remain in detention. They will be released on bail in the coming days.”

They also confirmed that plans are underway to enhance the National Crime Agency’s capabilities to pursue criminal people smuggling gangs.

The financial implications of cancelling the Rwanda scheme and the overall bill that taxpayers will bear are yet to be known.

A question mark remains over the fate of around 52,000 Channel migrants in the UK who are due to be deported.

Labour’s election manifesto pledged to rein in small boats crossing the Channel by appointing investigators and using counter-terrorism powers to “crush” criminal people-smuggling gangs.

The new government has made illegal immigration one of its main priorities, but has yet to reveal full details of its plan.

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