Activists disrupt Priti Patel speech in protest over ‘morally bankrupt’ Rwanda asylum plan


A group of activists disrupted a speech by Priti Patel at a Conservative event to protest the government’s controversial plan to offshore asylum seekers in Rwanda.

Campaigners from Green New Deal Rising – a climate activist and social justice group – managed to infiltrate a spring dinner event hosted by the Bassetlaw Conservatives that featured the home secretary as a guest speaker.

Video footage posted online by the group showed an activist interrupting Ms Patel just as she began speaking and called the home secretary’s plan to send aslyum seekers to Rwanda an “inhumane” policy which will “ruin people’s lives”.

As that activist was ushered out by security personnel another person stood up to and said they were “disgusted” by Ms Patel’s treatment of refugees in the UK.

Attendees at the dinner could be heard chanting “out out out” as the activists were ushered out of the event by security personnel.

As the protesters were leaving the event they began their own chant of “say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here”.

In tweet accompaying the video the social justice protesters described Ms Patel’s policy as “morally bankrupt” and demanded the government drop the “widely condemned policy”.

Holly Hudson, 27, an activist who was part of the protest said:“I want to grow up in a society that cares and respects people wherever they come from. I am disgusted by Priti Patel’s Rwanda plan and her immigration policies. They are violent, illegal and inhumane and have been condemned across society.

“This bill is a direct act of harm to those seeking safety. Whoever we are, we all deserve safety and compassion and that’s why we took action today.”

The government’s new immigration policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is already facing legal challenges and has been widely criticised by refugee charities and human rights groups.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The world-leading Migration Partnership will overhaul our broken asylum system, which is currently costing the UK taxpayer £1.5bn a year – the highest amount in two decades.

“It means those arriving dangerously, illegally or unnecessarily can be relocated to have their asylum claims considered and, if recognised as refugees, build their lives there.

“Our new Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda fully complies with international and national law.”

Bassetlaw Conservative have also been approached for comment.

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