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Boris Johnson hits back at Archbishop of Canterbury for 'misconstruing' Rwanda policy

NewsBoris Johnson hits back at Archbishop of Canterbury for 'misconstruing' Rwanda policy

The Prime Minister has accused the Most Reverend Justin Welby of being “less vociferous in their condemnation on Easter Sunday of Putin than they were on our policy on illegal immigrants”.

In his Easter Sunday sermon, the Archbishop said the Rwanda deal was in contradiction with Christian values, raised “serious ethical questions” and would not “stand the judgement of God”.

Last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel signed a deal with the African nation that would allow for migrants to be sent on a one-way flight to the country starting as early as next month.

A source from a meeting with MPs told The Times: “He [the PM] said that the hierarchy of the Church of England had . . . failed to construe the difference between legal immigration and people illegally entering the UK at huge personal risk across one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has become the most senior politician to criticise the plan, which she described as “illegal, unworkable and inefficient”, as well as risking an increase in the trafficking of women and children.

Despite her “hardline” stance on immigration during her time as Prime Minister, Ms May said of the plan: “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.”

Women and children were believed to be exempt from the policy, however, the Home Office has stated they would “consider everyone for relocation”.

In reality, most asylum seekers that will be removed will be men, as they make up the vast majority of those crossing the Channel in boats, reports state.

It has been claimed that Ms Patel is being “deliberately ambiguous” to prevent people smugglers using loopholes to send men over with women and children, pretending they are from the same family to avoid being sent to Rwanda.

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While many Tories are in support of the plan, there have been some dissenting voices.

Conservative chairman of the Justice Committee Sir Bob Neill said the money would be better spent speeding up the asylum claims process, which on average takes over a year per claim.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis said the taxpayer may have to cover high compensation claims due to Rwanda having one of the highest rates of malaria in the world.

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