The decision by an ‘out of hours’ European judge to ground a flight carrying migrants to Rwanda from Britain was branded an ‘abomination’ today as 300 more people crossed the Channel in flimsy dinghies that came perilously close to being toppled by massive tankers
The decision by an ‘out of hours’ European judge to ground a flight carrying migrants to Rwanda from Britain was branded an ‘abomination’ today as 300 more people crossed the Channel in flimsy dinghies that came perilously close to being toppled by massive tankers.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has been accused of undermining British sovereignty after it granted an 11th hour injunction to an Iraqi citizen, known as KN, at around 6.30pm – just four hours before the Boeing 767 was due to leave a Wiltshire air base.
The intervention by the ECHR came just hours after the Supreme Court – Britain’s highest court – had rejected his plea despite pressure from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who criticised the Rwanda policy as ‘immoral’, and Prince Charles described it as ‘appalling’.
But the Strasbourg judgment meant lawyers representing the remaining six migrants on board including more Iraqis, an Iranian, a Vietnamese and an Albanian, were able to lodge new appeals to judges in London before the Home Office ultimately scrapped their removal orders.At 10pm a sole migrant was on board the plane, which cost the taxpayer at least £500,000 to charter, when he was told he was not flying to Africa.
The row has sparked outrage among Tory MPs. One said of the ECHR on the party’s Parliament WhatsApp group: ‘It’s time we kicked these b*****ds into touch.For once I won’t apologise for my French’. James Sutherland, an aide to Defra Secretary George Eustice, told the group: ‘Did we expect any less? Outrageous that the UK is still beholden to the ECHR as a sovereign nation’.
Earlier in the day the Prime Minister had floated the idea of the UK walking away from the ECHR. A Downing Street source told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s an abomination that after domestic courts have repeatedly ruled in the Government’s favour, that an out-of-hours judge in the European Court has intervened to block the removal of illegal migrants to Rwanda.’
Another insider said: ‘European judges grounded the whole thing despite the Supreme Court, High Court and Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the Government.It is appalling’, adding: ‘One out-of-hours European judge has overruled days and days of debate in the UK courts on the papers alone’.
Home Secretary last night defiantly vowed to plough ahead with her relocation plan.
Ms Patel issued a strongly-worded rebuttal of the Strasbourg justice’s ruling, saying she was disappointed the flight to Kigali would not go ahead as scheduled, but would not be ‘deterred from doing the right thing’.
In a statement released late on Tuesday, the Home Secretary admitted the policy ‘will not be easy to deliver’ but expressed optimism that the Government would be able to overcome left-wing lawyers’ repeated legal challenges.
And as the row over the Rwanda flight intensified, migrants used the good weather to cross the Channel from dawn, with 270 people, mainly young men, being taken into Dover by Midday yesterday.The last boat arrived at around midnight, taking the daily total to well over 300.
A dinghy sails perilously close to a massive tanker in the Channel yesterday as judges in Strasbourg intervened in the row over flights to Rwanda
A child migrant is brought ashore yesterday.The little girl was among more tan 300 migrants who crossed from France yesterday
Home Secretary Priti Patel last night defiantly vowed to plough ahead with her Rwanda relocation plan despite a European judge’s extraordinary 11th-hour intervention blocked the first flight from ever leaving the runway
A private charter jet (believed to be empty of passengers) leaves MOD Boscombe Down after it was refused permission to take-off for Rwanda
The Boeing 767 meant to be the first to transport migrants to Rwanda is seen at MOD Boscombe Down base in Wiltshire
A convoy believed to be carrying asylum seekers leaves MOD Boscombe Down after a Super-midsize Private Jet Charters charter jet was grounded just before it was due for take-off to Rwanda tonight
Crew members board the Rwanda deportation flight Boeing 767 at Boscombe Down Air Base.Legal wrangling continued throughout Tuesday evening before the first flight due to take UK asylum seekers to Kigali was dramatically grounded
A tracker for the Rwanda deportation flight shows the aircraft’s journey after it departed the UK without carrying any of the seven asylum seekers who were due to board
Protesters gathered outside Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow and lay on the ground in an effort to halt Tuesday’s first flight transporting UK asylum seekers to Rwanda
The protest near Heathrow Airport was against the British Government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda
Police officers try to remove an activist blocking a road leading away from the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre
A number of arrests were made during Tuesday afternoon’s protest according to campaign group ‘Stop Deportations!’
The campaign group ‘Stop Deportations!’ issued an urgent call summoning activists to the detention centre at Heathrow
Ms Patel issued a strongly-worded rebuttal of the Strasbourg justice’s ruling, saying she was disappointed the flight to Kigali would not go ahead as scheduled, but would not be ‘deterred from doing the right thing’
A convoy of vans and police head away from the airstrip returning the immigrants back to their respective detention centres
The coach with outriders leaves Colnbrook, Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre this afternoon on the day a flight to Rwanda is due to leave
Six people are due to be transferred on tonight’s first flight to Rwanda, after one asylum seeker’s removal was called off by the European Court of Human Rights
Police are seen guarding the entrance of the MoD Boscombe Down, where a Boeing 767 aircraft was spotted today
A police van accompanied by motorised police personnel arrives at MoD Boscombe Down
A minibus with outriders leaves Colnbrook, Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre, Heathrow this afternoon on the day a flight to Rwanda is due to leave carrying seven asylum seekers to Rwanda