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UK minister faces hostile return after Rwanda asylum trip

#minister #faces #hostile #return #Rwanda #asylum #trip

One of Britain’s most senior ministers came under fire Monday for laughing uproariously in front of a future migrant camp and asking for tips on interior design during a trip to Rwanda.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman was also criticised for taking only right-leaning media outlets on the weekend trip, refusing access to the BBC’s London reporters and more liberal newspapers that have attacked her plan to resettle asylum seekers in Rwanda.

Britain’s Conservative government is seeking to outlaw asylum claims by all illegal arrivals and transfer them to “safe” third countries, such as Rwanda, in a bid to stop thousands of migrants from crossing the Channel on small boats.

Rejecting criticism of Rwanda’s human rights record, Braverman said it would be a “blessing” for would-be refugees to be permanently resettled there instead of in Britain.

“I encourage all of my critics to actually visit Rwanda before they cast aspersions and throw around incredibly prejudiced and snobbish opinions about what this beautiful country has to offer,” she said, according to British media.

In an interview with right-wing broadcaster GB News, she said accommodation and construction projects in Rwanda were “well advanced” and nearing completion.

Those deported from the UK will be able to have a “safe and secure life”, she added, calling it a “humane” and “compassionate” approach.

But the optics of the visit dominated discussion on social media as Braverman returned home.

One photograph showed her laughing at the site of a housing estate under construction for asylum seekers in Kigali, triggering a meme of the same image photoshopped into others of Nazi death camps from World War II.

The original photo of Braverman was cropped, while a wider shot showed her laughing along with two Rwandan people.

“These houses are really beautiful, great quality, really welcoming, and I really like your interior designer. I need some advice for myself,” she said on a tour of the estate.

Britain’s Labour opposition party accused Braverman of indulging in “PR opportunities and photo ops”, saying it would use the £140 million ($170 million) given to Rwanda for hunting down criminal gangs that have profited from the Channel crossings.

The government’s resettlement plan is still mired in legal appeals in London and to date, no deportation flights to Rwanda have taken place.

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