Priti Patel insists Rwanda is safe for asylum seekers despite warning over political killings

The home secretary batted off concerns over allegations about the Rwandan government

Priti Patel has insisted that it is safe to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda despite warnings that its government tortured and killed political opponents.

The home secretary's comments come after the High Court heard how a Foreign Office official raised concerns to UK ministers weeks before the government attempted to send the first group of asylum seekers to the African nation.

One of the documents written by the unnamed official warned that torture and “even killings” are accepted by the Rwandan government.

Ms Patel insisted on Thursday that the policy to deport asylum seekers is "set in stone".

"Well actually Rwanda is a safe country and that's why we have our migration, economic development partnership because all our work has shown that," she said.

She said the comments were made from officials "in a different government department" and repeated that the Home Office's work with the Rwandan government proves the country is safe.

Ms Patel also insisted the policy "will be delivered" - despite an ongoing legal challenge - regardless of whether Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak becomes the next prime minister.

The first Rwanda flight was grounded in June after the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) granted an injunction to stop it.

It said the High Court in London must examine whether the policy is lawful. A hearing will go ahead in September.

The home secretary insisted the plans are 'set in stone' and 'will be delivered'

But Ms Patel said: "This isn't about any particular candidate. This is the work of the government. It is set in stone through the new plan for immigration.

"The Rwanda plan... has been in the making for two years and this is government policy that will be delivered," she added.

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