'How stupid do they think we are?' David Lammy and caller discuss Conservatives' 'failed' Rwanda plan

26 November 2023, 17:03 | Updated: 26 November 2023, 19:00

David Lammy on the government's failed Rwanda plan

By Abbie Reynolds

Conservative MP James Cleverly has said that the Rwanda plan is not the "be all and end all", but after Rishi Sunak made it one of his five pledges David Lammy asks: "How stupid do they think we are?"

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Andrea in Kingston phoned David Lammy to discuss Home Secretary James Cleverly saying that he is “frustrated” with the focus on Rwanda to tackle illegal migration.

"My view of what Cleverly has said, is that the revamped Rwanda plan or approach is not going to work so they are setting up the narrative for pulling back from Rwanda or realising that they are going to get defeated," the caller began.

"They are realising even the revised version is going to go down the proverbial," Andrea said in reference to Rishi Sunak's new Rwanda plan, after the first was denied by the Supreme Court.

Read more: Plan B under way: Rishi Sunak tells stormy PMQs he may change law to revive Rwanda plan following court defeat

Read more: Rwanda plan is not the 'be all and end all' to stop illegal migration, says James Cleverly

Noting Rwanda as one of the Conservative government's "flagship" policies, David replied: "the point is, how stupid do they think we are?"

James O'Brien responds to Rishi Sunak wanting to press on with Rwanda flights

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has 'stop the boats' and one of his five pledges
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has 'stop the boats' and one of his five pledges. Picture: Alamy

With 'stop the boats' at the top of the Prime Minister's five pledges as well as former Home Secretaries Priti Patel and Suella Braverman making Rwanda the "centre piece" of their immigration plans, David said: "You've got to be a better magician than Paul Daniels to try to take it away and think nobody's noticed."

Sacked Home Secretary Ms Braverman had cited the Rwanda plan as a "world-beating" model on tackling the crisis but has since stated that even a revised plan would be unsuccessful.

“There is no longer any chance of stopping the boats within the current legal framework... tinkering with a failed plan will not stop the boats,” she wrote for The Telegraph in November.

Read more: Sacked Suella Braverman reveals five-point plan to get migrant flights to Rwanda

Read more: Suella Braverman says Rishi Sunak 'blocked' her 'on many occasions' from taking action on Rwanda

Sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda was described by Braverman as her "dream" but the current Home Secretary has said that "the mission is to stop the boats" and "there are multiple methods".