Sunak ‘out of touch’ for betting £1,000 on Rwanda plan’s success, says Labour | Immigration and asylum


Rishi Sunak has been branded “out of touch” after betting £1,000 with Piers Morgan on whether deportation flights to Rwanda would take off before the general election.

Morgan told the Prime Minister on TalkTV: “I'll bet you a refugee charity £1,000 that you won't put anyone on those planes before the election. Will you accept this bet?

Sunak shook Morgan's hand on the bet and said he was “working incredibly hard to get people on planes”.

The government's attempt to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their applications processed was blocked by the Supreme Court, which ruled the policy illegal in November. Sunak said he could save the project.

Opposition parties criticized his decision to accept the bet with Morgan. Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth said: “Few people faced with rising mortgages, bills and food prices casually abandon £1,000 bets. This just shows that Rishi Sunak is totally out of touch with workers.

Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock said the bet was “deeply distasteful” and that Sunak was “splashing his money around like it was Monopoly money – betting on a policy he had lost control.”

The Scottish National Party reported Sunak to independent adviser on ministers' interests Laurie Magnus, saying the bet could be a breach of the ministerial code. Kirsty Blackman said: “It is shameful and grotesque that Rishi Sunak, one of the UK's richest men, is betting money on whether he will be able to send vulnerable refugees abroad in time to the elections. »

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael raised a point of order in the Commons, saying Sunak should include his bet in his register of interests.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “Piers proposed it, and what you will see from the response is that we will see flights taking off. »

Sunak drew further criticism for saying “the facts speak for themselves” when asked whether he thought Labor leader Keir Starmer was a sympathizer of terrorism.

The prime minister accused Starmer of representing Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2008 as the group tried to resist a ban on its activities in Germany. Hezb ut-Tahrir was banned as a terrorist organization by the British government last month.

“He was there, he was their lawyer when they tried to resist. We simply outlawed them because we think that's what they are. These things reflect people's values.

A spokesperson for Starmer's office described the attack as “desperate nonsense”.

“Keir Starmer oversaw the first-ever prosecutions of senior al-Qaeda members, the imprisonment of the airline's liquid bomb plotters and the deportation of countless terrorists,” the door said -speech.

“Thanks to Keir's leadership, charge and conviction rates for sexual offenses have increased, victims have been better supported and the [Crown Prosecution Service] was reformed. The Prime Minister can only dream of having such a record in the service of his country.”

Sunak and other Tories repeatedly attacked Starmer for working with Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2008, shortly before he became director of public prosecutions. Starmer was part of a team of lawyers who filed an application in June 2008 with the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban on his activities in Germany. The appeal was dismissed.

A Labor official said Starmer had not represented the organization in court but was part of a three-chamber team which submitted an initial application to Strasbourg, and that the nature of the legal work involved representing and advising people, whatever their opinions.

Sunak raised this link during Prime Minister's Questions in January. The government banned the group for encouraging terrorism and praising the October 7 attacks on Israel.



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