Rwanda policy ‘shames’ Britain, Church of England leaders tell Boris Johnson

Archbishop Justin Welby is among church leaders who say the government’s immigration policies are “immoral”. The news follows reports that Prince Charles thinks the Rwanda deal is “appalling”.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is among church leaders who have written to the Prime Minister

The plan to send failed asylum seekers to Rwanda is an “immoral policy” that “shames Britain,” Church of England leaders have said.

The government intends to allow some people who entered the UK illegally to be flown out to the east African country to seek asylum.

Senior Church of England bishops, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, have criticized the plan for lacking morale.

A letter to The Times, due to be published on Tuesday, signed by Most Rev Justin Welby and Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, said: “Whether the first deportation flight leaves Britain for Rwanda today or not, this policy should shame us as a nation . ”

It goes on to say: “The shame is on us, for our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice as we have done for centuries.”

It also reportedly said that vulnerable people should be offered safe routes to the UK and not be deported.

She adds: “This immoral policy puts Britain to shame.”

The letter is also signed by the Bishops of London, Durham, Exeter, Birmingham and Manchester.

Mr Welby had previously said in his Easter sermon that there were “serious ethical issues in posting asylum seekers abroad”.

He later said it would have been “cowardly” not to speak out against the plan.

Boris Johnson and other Cabinet ministers hit back at Mr Welby over his intervention in April.

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According to sources attending a private meeting between the Prime Minister and Tory MPs after Easter, Mr Johnson claimed the senior cleric “misread the policy”.

It comes after The Times and the Daily Mail reported that the Prince of Wales allegedly said in private that the politics were “appalling”.

Mr Johnson declined to comment on whether Charles was wrong about his comments, adding: “This is about making sure we break the business model of criminal gangs who are not just risking people’s lives, but that Undermining public confidence in legal migration.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman later said Mr Johnson had “nothing but respect and admiration for the Prince of Wales, who has spoken out on a range of issues, not least the environment”.

A government spokesman said: “Our world-leading partnership with Rwanda will result in those making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys to the UK being relocated there so that their entitlements can be assessed and their lives rebuilt.

“There is no single solution to the global migration crisis, but doing nothing is not an option and this partnership will help disrupt the business model of criminal gangs and prevent loss of life.

“Rwanda is a fundamentally safe country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers and we are confident that the agreement is fully compliant with all national and international laws.”

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