Back in June Lord Harrington of Watford stated “I can assure the noble Lord that there are two very good legal channels for refugees from Ukraine to come to this country. There is therefore no reason at all for them to be sent to Rwanda or anywhere else other than, I hope, back to Ukraine when the political and military situation allows.” and he stated this on the same day “I reiterate that refugees from Ukraine are perfectly welcome to come here and there is absolutely no reason why they should be sent to Rwanda. They are welcome here, we have accommodation for them, local authorities are paid to look after them and we have already welcomed nearly 70,000.” and it appears that he has now left the Government as Guardian states here this afternoon in a document written by Matthew Weaver that can be obtained from here.
Richard Harrington, who distanced himself from the government’s policy of sending migrants to Rwanda, has quit as refugees minister a day before Liz Truss is expected to be confirmed as the next prime minister.
He claimed he was stepping down because his job was essentially complete, but the timing of his departure suggests he expected his role was not likely to be renewed by the incoming administration.
In private Lord Harrington has made no secret of his disdain for the Rwanda policy that Truss and Rishi Sunak have enthusiastically backed during the Tory leadership contest.
In public Harrington declined to endorse the policy. In a Times Radio interview shortly after the policy was announced, he refused three times to say whether he was comfortable with putting refugees who cross the Channel on a one-way flight to Rwanda.
In his resignation letter Harrington said his decision was no reflection on Truss or Sunak.
We clearly need the Government and the new Prime Minister to be challenged very quickly. Indeed for some of us this petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614913 is very significant. It only has 12,500 signatures but there is 6 weeks for it to be signed by another 87,500 people for it to reach the significant 100,000.
Stop the government’s ‘one way ticket’ plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda
The Government’s latest plan is immoral and ignores serious human rights concerns about Rwanda. The Government needs to show leadership and work more closely with the French authorities and the EU to allow traumatised refugees to be processed with safety and dignity before they cross the Channel.
This is a lazy and inappropriate solution to a complex problem and the Government should focus more on working with international partners to deal with the causes of asylum seeking. The Government should consider the long term damage this could do to the UKs reputation as a decent and compassionate society.