Rwanda flights to take off after UK’s July election – British PM


May 23, 2024

Flights carrying migrants from Britain to Rwanda will take off “after the election’’, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said.

He urged UK voters to back him at the polls if they want to see this happen.

Sunak made the admission ahead of a two-day trip across the UK to mark the start of the campaign.

Sunak called the election on Wednesday night in a rain-soaked statement outside his Downing Street offices in London, with the date set for July 4.

He and his ministers have repeatedly marked early July as when the first one-way deportation flight for migrants to the East African nation Rwanda would take place.

Speaking to broadcaster LBC, the prime minister conceded these will now take off after the election.

“If I am elected, we will get the flights off,” he said.

Speaking to GB News, he had earlier insisted the Rwanda scheme would provide a deterrent, adding: “unless you’re able to deliver that, people will keep coming.”

The prime minister denied that the real reason for calling a summer election is that inflation is expected to rise again and there is likely to be a spike in small boat arrivals over the summer.

Speaking to the BBC, sunak said: “No, that’s not the real reason.

“And when it comes to the economy, of course, I know there’s more work to do.

“I know that people are only just starting to feel the benefits of the changes that we’ve brought.

“And for some people when they look at their bank balance at the end of every month it will still be difficult, but we have undeniably made progress and stability has returned.”

Sunak embarks on a whistlestop tour of all four UK nations on Friday.

His Labour rival Keir Starmer, meanwhile, kicks off his election campaign with a visit to south-east England, in a sign he wants to make inroads in Conservative areas.

Sunak surprised many people who had expected an autumn poll when he fired the starting gun for the summer election.

The news caused disquiet among Conservative lawmakers fearful of losing their jobs, and those who have already said they will not stand and are having to say goodbye to Parliament sooner than expected.

Starmer said the election would be a chance to turn the page on 14 years of Conservative rule and “stop the chaos” in British politics.


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