Rwanda asylum seekers plan is a ‘cynical distraction’ from partygate – Davey

The Liberal Democrat leader said the Government’s policy would not stop people smuggling.

Neil Pooran
Thursday 14 April 2022 11:30
Sir Ed Davey was in the Scottish Highlands (Ian West/PA)
Sir Ed Davey was in the Scottish Highlands (Ian West/PA)

The Government’s plans to process some asylum seekers in Rwanda have been released as a “cynical distraction” from the partygate scandal, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said.

Sir Ed also said he expected the Prime Minister to be issued with further fines over the scandal.

The Lib Dem leader was in the Port of Ardersier in the Scottish Highlands on Thursday amid campaigning for the local elections.

He said the Rwanda plan would not stop people crossing the English Channel in small boats and called for more action against people smugglers.

This policy just won't work

Sir Ed Davey

He told journalists: “First of all, this policy just won’t work – clearly, obviously won’t work.

“It won’t stop people getting onboard the boats of illegal smugglers.

“They’ve provided no evidence to suggest that this new policy will stop that illegal smuggling, they’re not cracking down on the organised crime gangs, which is what you need to do.”

He said the scheme would be a “bureaucratic nightmare” costing hundreds of millions of pounds, saying the money should go towards the cost-of-living crisis rather than a “cynical distraction”.

Sir Ed said: “They’ve announced this because they’re trying to deflect attention from the Prime Minister’s lawbreaking.

“The timing could not be more obvious and no-one’s going to be fooled by this.

“They’ve brought this in to try to move the story away from the shocking partygate revelations.

“It won’t work and people aren’t going to fall for it.”

Sir Ed said he expected there to be more fines over partygate (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He criticised the position taken by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who withdrew his call for the Prime Minister to quit in light of the war in Ukraine.

Sir Ed said: “Even though the Prime Minister’s now been fined by the police, Douglas Ross still believes that Johnson is a truthful man.

“Well, I have to say I’ve got some magic beans to sell Douglas Ross, if you believe that.

“And I frankly think it’s despicable for Boris Johnson’s allies to use the war in Ukraine to get them out of having to do the right thing.”

The Lib Dem leader said he thought it was likely the Prime Minister would receive more than one fine “because he went to more than one party”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in