Rwanda flights might NOT take off next year, Jeremy Hunt says despite PM hoping for spring

RWANDA was plunged into more chaos last night as Jeremy Hunt admitted flights might not take off next year after all.

It came less than 24 hours after Rishi Sunak said he wanted the first illegal migrants removed by the spring – which the Immigration Minister declared “absolutely critical”.

The first scheduled flight to Rwanda was set for last year before being grounded by Euro judges


The first scheduled flight to Rwanda was set for last year before being grounded by Euro judgesCredit: Getty

A new treaty with Kigali is set to be revealed within days in the hope of salvaging the flagship deportation plan torpedoed by the Supreme Court.

But yesterday the Chancellor said there was “no guarantee” a single asylum seeker would be removed by the next election.

It risks infuriating mutinous Tory MPs who have warned the PM’s leadership is on the line over his stop the boats pledge.

Right-wing MPs also risk erupting amid claims new Foreign Secretary David Cameron will to veto any plans to leave the European Convention of Human Rights.

His ex-Chancellor and close pal George Osborne said: “I think that’s basically now off the table because David Cameron is Foreign Secretary.”

Downing Street yesterday said the fresh agreement with Rwanda to get the policy back on track would be published in “days”.

And emergency legislation enshrining the East African nation as “safe” in law will be laid “in the coming weeks”.

Mr Sunak faces a battle to ram his Plan B through Parliament as the House of Lords looks set to oppose it.

Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption yesterday branded the measures “profoundly discreditable” and “constitutionally really quite extraordinary”.

He hit out at the PM for trying to “effectively overrule a decision on the facts, on the evidence, by the highest court in the land”.

Fellow peer Bishop David Walker added: “I think that it is incumbent upon me as a citizen of this land to treat matters that the supreme court of this land has judged as fact to be fact.”

Gearing up for a struggle to get the legislation through, Mr Hunt yesterday made no promises about fighting an election with flights under their belt.

He said: “We are hopeful that because of the solutions that the prime minister announced yesterday we will be able to get flights off to Rwanda next year.

“We can’t guarantee that, we have to pass legislation in the House of Commons and sign a new international treaty with Rwanda.”

The day before Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said it was “absolutely critical that flights go off to Rwanda in the spring”.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said they were “absolutely determined” to get planes in the sky by the next election.

In a tense BBC interview he refused to deny previously describing the Rwanda plan as “bats***” – saying he does not recognise the claims.

The first scheduled flight to Rwanda was set for last year before being grounded by Euro judges.

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