Home Secretary James Cleverly engaged in a heated exchange with BBC star Amol Rajan during an interview on the Radio 4 Today programme. Cleverly accused Rajan of making biased statements rather than asking questions, in relation to the Rwanda chaos.
During the interview, Cleverly expressed frustration as Rajan read out passages from the Supreme Court judgment that criticized the deportations policy as illegal. Cleverly challenged Rajan, asking if he was asking questions or making statements, suggesting that if Rajan continued with statements, Cleverly could go and get a cup of tea.
Cleverly also faced questions about allegations that he privately described the Rwanda policy as 'batsh**'. While he did not completely deny using the phrase, he stated that he did not remember a conversation like that, and accused the Labour Party of trying to divert attention from their own immigration policy.
In discussing the government's determination to get a removal flight to Rwanda before the next election, Cleverly defended plans for emergency legislation to designate Rwanda as a 'safe' country, despite concerns raised by the Supreme Court. He highlighted the UK's collaboration with Rwanda to strengthen their institutions as a sign of confidence in the legally binding treaty.
Cleverly's clashes with Rajan highlighted the stark contrast between the government's position and that of the Supreme Court. Rajan referenced the UNHCR's report, which raised concerns over Rwandan officials' understanding of assessing refugee status. Cleverly insisted that significant work had been done to address those concerns, but Rajan pressed him on whether he privately described the policy as 'batsh**', to which Cleverly responded that he did not remember such a conversation.
The interview underscored the tension surrounding the government's handling of the Rwanda chaos and the significance of the Supreme Court's ruling against the deportations policy. As Cleverly faces criticism and questions, the government remains determined to secure a removal flight to Rwanda and ratify a new legally binding treaty.