By Chris King • 15 June 2022 • 0:07
Rwanda flight grounded at last minute by European judge.
The Boeing 767 that was scheduled to depart from the Boscombe Down military airbase in Salisbury this evening, Tuesday, June 14, transporting migrants to Rwanda in Africa, has been grounded at the very last minute by a European judge who was working out-of-hours reviewing this situation.
This dramatic 11th-hour intervention has scuppered Priti Patel’s policy as the runway lights at the MOD base were switched off just as the clock was counting down to the 10:30pm take-off time. It is believed that a call was made informing the aircraft’s crew that the plane was not allowed to depart for the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
It is not known exactly how many asylum seekers had been inside the aircraft at the time, but they were all reportedly removed from the plane after the abort order was received. Whether the Home Office has any right to contest this decision made by the European court in Brussels now remains to be seen.
‘Tonight’s inhumane deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda has been stopped by the ECtHR – minutes before it was due to depart’, tweeted Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London upon hearing the news. ‘Sending people fleeing violence to a country thousands of miles away was already cruel and callous. It’s now potentially unlawful too’, he added.
Enver Solomon, the Refugee Council chief executive commented: ‘Whilst we are relieved to hear the flight to Rwanda did not take off as planned tonight it is clear that the Government remain determined to press on with this deal”.
‘The fact that the final flight could not take off is indicative of the inhumanity of the plan and the Government’s complete refusal to see the face behind the case’, Solomon said.
Earlier on Tuesday, defiant ministers had insisted that the flight would depart even if meant only one person was on board.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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