UK's first migrant flight to Rwanda is grounded

STORY: The UK's first flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda did not take off as scheduled on Tuesday (June 14) after an 11th hour intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

Derided by opponents, charities and religious leaders as "shameful", the British government's plan had already faced a series of legal challenges.

At least 30 would-be passengers had, in recent days, successfully argued that they should not be deported on health or human rights grounds - leaving just a handful on board.

The plane's engines had started and cabin crew boarded on Tuesday evening when the ECHR granted injunctions to prevent the deportation of one of the remaining men.

That triggered a series of legal challenges that stopped the flight from departing.

The ECHR ruling said the man, an Iraqi, should not be removed until three weeks after the end of a judicial review being held into the legality of the scheme.

That's due to take place in July at the High Court in London.

According to official figures more than 28,500 people were detected arriving in Britain on small-scale boats last year.

Britain's government says the $148m deal it struck with Rwanda will break-up people smuggling networks.

Earlier on Tuesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson had complained that legal challenges were undermining attempts to support safe routes for asylum seekers.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was "disappointed" but that the government was not deterred and would prepare for the next flight.

Human rights groups say the policy will put migrants at risk.

The U.N.'s refugee agency says Rwanda, whose own human rights record is under scrutiny, does not have the capacity to process the claims properly.

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