The Home Secretary has confirmed that she is ignoring the advice of an adviser who said the Rwandan government tortures political opponents, in pushing her policy of deporting asylum-seekers there.
Priti Patel insisted that Rwanda was a “safe country”.
She said the comments had been made by “officials in a different government department”.
She added: “But of course it is the Home Office who has led the economic development migration partnership which is our resettlement partnership to Rwanda. Rwanda is a safe country and all our work with the government of Rwanda shows that.”
She was responding to a High Court judgment that seven statements by an adviser should be made public in advance of a Supreme Court ruling on whether the Rwanda deportation policy is legal.
A judge ruled that a further four statements should not be published as they could potentially harm international relations.
It is not unreasonable – on the face of it – for the government to seek advice and then ignore what it is told.
Governments may take opinions from multiple sources before forming their own opinions and policy.
But this has the potential to blow up in the Tory government’s collective face, if the decision to ignore warnings about this foreign government leads to asylum-seekers being harmed.