Yesterday, before she announced that she was resigning as the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel was asked a question by Tony Lloyd and Patel responded with a brief comment and then there was a very challenging second question and an answer that clearly ignored the concerning question. There was also a question from the Conservative MP Mike Wood who is from Dudley South. Tragically Patel did not respond to his question either. I am very grateful for the questions and I wonder if her replacement can be challenged? The questions and answers are below and they were obtained from here. My own view is that we can challenge the Government by signing a petition which has reached 12,500 signatures but if we can achieve another 87,500 signatures the Parliament may be able to raise this further. The Petition is entitled “Stop the government’s ‘one way ticket’ plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda” and it can be obtained from here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614913
Priti Patel: I have secured a world-first migration and economic development partnership with Rwanda, and our innovative partnership means that illegal migrants will be relocated to Rwanda to build a new and prosperous life there. The number of people who can be relocated there is unlimited, and they will have support and care while their claims are considered.
Priti Patel: First and foremost, as well as all our work with the Government of Rwanda—even prior to the announcement of this policy and the work that went into this partnership—plenty of in-country work has been undertaken. That is part of our country report and planning work, and all the advice that is taken in-country and across Government. With that, however, it is important to recognise that this partnership is very clear in terms of standards, the treatment of people who are relocated to Rwanda, the resources that are put in, and the processing of how every applicant is treated.
Mike Wood (Dudley South) (Con): There are various reports—not all of them accurate—about the limit on the number of people who can be processed under the partnership agreement with Rwanda. What action is being taken to increase capacity in Rwanda to accept more asylum seekers so that the full benefits of the partnership can be realised?
Priti Patel: It is important to emphasise again that the number of people who can be relocated is unlimited and, importantly, they have the support and capacity in-country—that is part of the resources that we have put in, and part of the programming approach that has been developed directly with the Government of Rwanda.