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UK-Rwanda asylum seekers scheme “dead and buried” – new PM

BRITAIN’S newly elected Prime Minister Keir Starmer has announced the scrapping of the controversial plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. This marks Starmer’s first major policy decision since winning a landslide election victory.

Starmer declared the Rwanda scheme “dead and buried” during his first press conference as prime minister. He criticized the policy, stating it would have only affected about 1% of asylum seekers and failed to act as a deterrent.

Reuters reports that the Rwanda plan, initially announced by the previous Conservative government in 2022, had faced years of legal challenges and had not resulted in any deportations.

The issue of asylum seekers crossing from France was a major theme in the recent six-week election campaign. The article mentions that while supporters claimed the policy would disrupt people traffickers, critics argued it was immoral and impractical.

According to Reuters, Starmer also addressed other challenges facing his government, including improving struggling public services and reviving a weak economy. The prime minister promised to take “tough decisions” early on, particularly in areas such as the overstretched prison system and long waiting times in the state-run health service.

The news agency reports that Starmer plans to set up and chair “mission delivery boards” to focus on priority areas such as healthcare and economic growth.

Reuters notes that the British government has already provided the Rwandan government with hundreds of millions of pounds to prepare for the asylum seeker scheme, money that cannot be recovered.

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The article concludes by mentioning that Starmer’s decision to scrap the Rwanda plan has been welcomed by organizations such as Freedom from Torture, which had campaigned against the scheme.

By The African Mirror