Boris Johnson blasts Justin Welby for being ‘softer on Vladimir Putin than on Priti Patel’ after the Archbishop waded labelled the Rwanda migrant scheme ‘the opposite of the nature of God’
Boris Johnson last night attacked the Archbishop of Canterbury for ‘misconstruing’ Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Speaking to Tory MPs, he praised the scheme to send some asylum seekers 4,000 miles to the African nation.
He told them the policy had been ‘misconstrued on the BBC and by certain members of the clergy’. Referring to Russian leader Vladimir Poetin’s decision to invade Ukraine, Mr Johnson suggested that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had been ‘less vociferous on Easter Sunday against Putin’.
The archbishop used his Easter sermon to claim the Rwanda plans were ‘the opposite of the nature of God’
The archbishop used his Easter sermon to claim the Rwanda plans were ‘the opposite of the nature of God’.
He told worshippers in Canterbury Cathedral there were ‘serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas’.
Hy het bygevoeg: ‘The details are for politics and politicians. The principle must stand the judgment of God, and it cannot… And it cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values – because sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God, who himself took responsibility for our failures.’
Mr Johnson’s comments came after former Tory PM Theresa May was accused of being driven by ‘bitterness’ after she questioned if the Rwanda scheme was legal or workable.
As Miss Patel answered questions in the Commons yesterday, Mrs May said: ‘From what I have heard and seen so far of this policy, I do not support the removal to Rwanda policy on the grounds of legality, practicality and efficacy.’
She also asked if the scheme would lead to an increase in the trafficking of women and children after it was reported that only single men would be sent to Rwanda.
The stance taken by Mrs May – who suffered a series of immigration disasters while Home Secretary from 2010 aan 2016 – was criticised by fellow Tory backbencher Peter Bone.
The ex-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on human trafficking said: ‘I didn’t follow the former Prime Minister’s logic. I really thought she was off the mark on this one.
‘She didn’t appreciate that unless you cut off the demand this evil trade will continue.
‘If we don’t do something like the Rwanda plan then we’ll get more and more people coming across the Channel and more and more people dying.
‘But part of it, wou versekering hê dat die £12 biljoen per jaar wat deur April se nasionale versekeringsverhoging ingesamel word, nie weggegooi sal word nie, is bitterness towards the current Prime Minister and Government.’
Mr Johnson’s comments came after former Tory PM Theresa May was accused of being driven by ‘bitterness’ after she questioned if the Rwanda scheme was legal or workable
Another senior Tory compared her to former PM Ted Heath, who famously savaged Margaret Thatcher’s policies in the 1980s. Hulle het gesê: ‘After a series of bitter criticisms of the Government by Theresa May, she is sounding more and more like Ted Heath.’
In die Commons, Miss Patel was asked how migrants would be selected for the new scheme but declined to go into detail because ‘that type of criteria is used by smuggling gangs to exploit various loopholes in our existing laws’. She insisted that all migrants would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, apparently leaving the possibility open that families could be sent to Rwanda. When the scheme was launched last week officials would only say that lone children would be exempt.
The Home Secretary said: ‘Serious organised criminals that profit from human misery do not care about people drowning in the Channel or suffocating in the back of containers. This agreement deals a major blow to people smugglers and their evil trade in human cargo.’ Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper attacked the ‘extortionate cost’ of sending migrants to Rwanda, but Miss Patel stressed: ‘You can’t put a price on saving human lives.’
Each migrant sent to Rwanda is likely to cost the UK taxpayer an estimated £30,000, which Labour said is three times the price of processing them here.