Suella Braverman disappointed that Rwanda properties earmarked for migrants sold

Former home secretary Suella Braverman said she is disappointed that properties earmarked for migrants deported from the UK have instead been sold to local buyers in Rwanda.

Of the 163 affordable homes on the Bwiza Riverside estate, 70% have been sold, meaning there is only space for a few dozen migrants, the Times reports.

The former minister said construction work was “progressing steadily” when she visited Kigali in March last year.

Suella Braverman visit to Rwanda
Then home secretary Suella Braverman pictured during a visit to Rwanda in March 2023 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The prices of the properties funded as part of a public-private partnership between the Kigali government and ADHI Corporate Group range between £14,000 and £27,000.

A manager at the estate said the homes had been sold to “private people who want to live in them”.

Speaking to LBC, Ms Braverman criticised the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.

She said the Government’s current plan will not deliver and she could only see a “token flight” taking off.

The Fareham MP said: “I’m disappointed to read that expectations have fallen and that the Rwandans are now selling off some of those properties.

Suella Braverman visit to Rwanda
Suella Braverman said construction work was ‘progressing steadily’ when she visited Kigali in March last year (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“I do believe that we may well get a flight off, a token flight with a low number of passengers on it, to Rwanda – that’s not deterrence.

“The only way we generate a deterrent effect to stop people getting on the boats and coming to the UK illegally is regular flights with hundreds of passengers on those flights being sent to Rwanda on a regular basis.

“I’m afraid the plan, as it stands today, won’t deliver that.”

Labour demanded “urgent clarity” on the Rwanda scheme “farce” following the Times report, calling on the Prime Minister to address it directly while the Commons is away on Easter recess.

“Now it seems there will be even less capacity to house those that are removed. The Tories’ so-called plan is unravelling by the day and taxpayers are footing the bill. It’s time for change,” shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock said.

According to the latest Home Office figures, 82 migrants were detected crossing the English Channel in small boats on Monday, taking the total so far this year to 5,517.

Last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would be willing to defy orders from the European Court of Human Rights if necessary to implement his Rwanda plan.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “As the Government of Rwanda have made repeatedly clear, they stand ready to host thousands of migrants under the partnership.

“The scheme is uncapped and provisions are in place to provide accommodation as required. We remain focused on getting flights off the ground as soon as possible.”

The Rwandan government has disputed the amount of properties that have been sold privately and insisted the scheme is one of several estates for migrants.

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