A barrister has launched an astonishing attack on the government’s Rwanda deportation policy during an appearance on BBC Question Time, calling out the “poison” within Tory rhetoric that has characterised refugees as “scum”.
Hashi Mohamed featured on the broadcaster’s flagship politics show, which this week came from Peterborough, when he hit out at the “unviable” immigration plan that has meant Rishi Sunak has “spent his precious time dealing with the loonies in his party”.
This week, Sunak saw off a Tory rebellion to win the Commons’ backing for his flagship Safety of Rwanda Bill, and then urged the unelected House of Lords not to block his plan.
In a press conference on Thursday, the prime minister pleaded with peers not to “frustrate the will of the people” as he said the UK should be “taking control of our borders”. Both phrases are an echo of Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy at the 2019 general election.
On BBC Question Time, Mohamed argued the policy is “unviable, it’s expensive. And the only person it’s working for is the Rwandans because they won’t give us a penny back”.
“They are dividing a society, they are making us feel like refugees are the scum”
Barrister Hashi Mohamed says the rhetoric created by the Rwanda policy is “poison” and describes the policy as “unconscionable”#bbcqthttps://t.co/10QmerjvLXpic.twitter.com/aE5DPaUdDg
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) January 18, 2024
He went on: “They’re attacking our judges, they’re attacking our rule of law. They are dividing a society. They are making us feel that refugees are scum and who are foreign. They refer to the European courts that we are a part of that have United Kingdom judges as foreign courts.
“It’s not only just disgusting, it’s unconscionable. The rhetoric is poison and we have to acknowledge that.”
He added: “This week, with everything that’s happening in the world, everything that’s happening in this country, This week, our prime minister spent his precious time dealing with the loonies in his party.”
One-way flights deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda remain grounded amid a series of legal setbacks.
The show also featured panellists Bim Afolami, Tory economic secretary to the Treasury, Labour’s Emily Thornberry and journalist Kate McCann.