Jeremy Corbyn storms Rwanda migrant protest, saying UK can't 'outsource legal obligation' to refugees
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those to address dozens of protesters who gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told protesters that the UK had “no business outsourcing” its “legal obligation” to support those seeking asylum.
The High Court case – in which several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) and groups Care4Calais and Detention Action are questioning the legality of the plan – began today.
In April, Priti Patel signed what she described as a “world-first agreement” with Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.
But the first deportation flight – due to take off on June 14 – was grounded amid a series of legal challenges.
Since the deal was announced, 22,116 people have crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those to address dozens of protesters who gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice and chanted “say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here” while waving placards saying “Stop Rwanda” as the case continued inside.
During the hearing those disputing the policy said Rwanda was an “authoritarian state” that “tortures and murders those it considers to be its opponents”.
Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Corbyn said the Government’s “deal” with Rwanda over the handling of migrants was something he was “more than suspicious of”.
He continued: “More than suspicious because of the role of the Rwandan and the British governments and the secrecy surrounding it.
“Because of the amount of money involved and because of the quite credible reports from the UN and others of Rwandan interference in the Congo as well as what is going in a neighbouring country where there is a war, essentially, over resources.
“Those refugees that are sent to Rwanda, I’ve no idea what their future holds. All I do know is we have no business outsourcing our legal obligation to provide a place of safety, comfort and security for those seeking asylum in this country.”
Jeremy Corbyn said in his speech to protesters against the Government’s Rwanda policy: “Some of us in this crowd are refugees. Any of us could be refugees in a different situation.
“I am absolutely sick to the teeth of the way in which refugees are demonised and blamed for every problem within our society. They are the victims of environmental disaster, of human rights abuse, of wars, of poverty, of economic problems.”
Mr Corbyn added: “Let’s hold out the hand of support and friendship to those that are seeking a place of safety in our society.”