First asylum seeker flown to Rwanda with £3,000 of taxpayer's cash under voluntary deportation scheme

30 April 2024, 21:04 | Updated: 1 May 2024, 12:05

The first migrant has officially been sent to Rwanda
The first migrant has officially been sent to Rwanda. Picture: Getty

By Flaminia Luck

The first asylum seeker has been sent to Rwanda with £3,000 of taxpayer's money after losing a bid to stay in Britain.

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The unnamed migrant - who is African origin - left the UK on Monday evening, the Sun reports.

After his bid to stay in Britain was rejected at the end of 2023, the man voluntarily accepted passage to a new life in Rwanda.

LBC believes the voluntary deportation did not fall under the government's new landmark deportation laws.

He was sent on a commercial flight and given around £3,000 of taxpayer money to help relocate under the terms of a deal with Rwanda.

It is the first time the government has relocated a failed asylum seeker to a third country in what the government hopes to be the first of thousands.

Read more: More than half of migrants bound for deportation to Rwanda missing, Home Office admits

He was sent on a commercial flight and given around £3,000 of taxpayer money to help relocate under the terms of a deal with Rwanda.
He was sent on a commercial flight and given around £3,000 of taxpayer money to help relocate under the terms of a deal with Rwanda. Picture: Alamy

The removal was part of a side scheme to the forced deportation of illegal immigrants policy that is set to begin flights in July.

But there were sighs of relief in Whitehall last night that the first removal and Rwandan processing went off without a hitch - in what planners have dubbed a “proof of concept” success.

A well placed source said: “This proves its possible and legal for Britain to remove failed asylum seekers to Rwanda successfully and smoothly.”

Read more: Police need to carry guns in the UK, says ex-counter terrorism chief following Hainault sword attack

A protester demonstrating against the planned deportation of migrants and refugees to Rwanda
A protester demonstrating against the planned deportation of migrants and refugees to Rwanda. Picture: Alamy

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak believes the new policy will act as a deterrent and stop people from making the trip across the Channel in small boats.

Last week, five migrants - including a seven-year-old girl - died making the journey.

However, critics of the policy say it is inhumane and potentially ineffective as a deterrent.

Read more: Rwanda raids to begin on Monday with Government set to detain dozens ahead of deportation flights

Caller Kit says Rishi Sunak is 'trying desperately to cling on to the supporters' of Rwanda policy

A series of raids on migrants earmarked for deportation to Rwanda were reportedly due to start on Monday.

The Home Office will launch a major operation today to detain those expected to be aboard the first flights to Rwanda in the summer.

Immigration officers will hold up refugees who turn up for routine meetings such as bail appointments and immigration service checks and then detain them ahead of expected deportation, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Read More: 'We are not your loophole': Irish PM slams UK as Britain rejects bid to return migrants across border to NI

A government spokesperson said: "We are now able to send asylum seekers to Rwanda under our migration and economic development partnership.

"This deal allows people with no immigration status in the UK to be relocated to a safe third country where they will be supported to rebuild their lives."

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