Prime Minister Keir Starmer abolishes controversial Rwanda deportation scheme

Prime Minister Keir Starmer abolishes controversial Rwanda deportation scheme

As soon as the newly appointed Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Keir Starmer, entered 10 Downing Street on his first day, he confirmed to the media during a press briefing that the controversial Rwanda deportation scheme is “dead and buried.”

The British Prime Minister stated that he is going to end the “gimmick” of deporting migrants arriving in the UK illegally to Rwanda, a policy created by the previous Conservative government.

In their manifesto during the campaign of the recently concluded snap elections, which saw the Labour Party winning resoundingly after nearly a decade and a half, the Labour Party pledged to scrap the scheme and promised a more effective approach to tackling illegal immigration.

“The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started,” said Prime Minister Starmer. “It has never been a deterrent,” as it would only deport “less than 1%” of small boat arrivals” (source: Sky News). The scheme was a key battleground during the final days of Rishi Sunak’s government.

Despite being announced two years ago by then-prime minister Boris Johnson, the Rwanda plan faced numerous legal challenges and never saw a flight take off. It was also a debatable subject among the Tories.

Starmer added, “Look at the numbers that have come over in the first six and a bit months of this year, they are record numbers, that is the problem that we are inheriting. It’s had the complete opposite effect and I’m not prepared to continue with gimmicks that don’t act as a deterrent.”

The Labour Party, in their manifesto, suggested hiring investigators and using counter-terror powers to deal with smuggling gangs.

Some analysts believe this might affect the political campaign of Rwanda’s long-time serving ruler, President Paul Kagame, who is seeking another term in office. Kagame might have used the deal as a positive image for his country on the international stage.

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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