The Home Office says the last two migrants to Rwanda will be granted bail.


image caption, Migrants cross the English Channel on a small boat.

  • the author, Ruth Comerford
  • the role, BBC News

The government has said that the last two remaining migrants who have been detained and are awaiting deportation to Rwanda will be granted bail in the coming days.

A spokesman for the home secretary also revealed that a further 218 migrants had been released on bail from detention centers by the previous government during the election campaign.

He was to be deported to the East Central African country under former Prime Minister Rishi Singh's policy to deal with illegal immigration.

In his first full day as Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer confirmed that Rwanda's deportation scheme is “dead and buried”.

In his first press conference after entering No 10, the Prime Minister told reporters that the scheme was “never a bottleneck” as it would only deport “less than 1%” of small boat arrivals.

Asylum seekers have been detained since late April, after Rishi Shankar said flights would depart in the first weeks of July.

Under the Conservative government, the Home Office refused to confirm the number of people detained for Rwanda.

The BBC now understands that a total of 220 people were detained with the intention of being deported to Rwanda under the scheme.

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has said she wants to recruit a new “border security commander” in the summer, and a new border security to be included in Bill King's first speech.

A spokesman for the Home Secretary said the Rwanda scheme was an “extortion ploy”.

“If the last prime minister had believed it would work, he wouldn't have called an election before the flight.

“During the election campaign, the previous government released 218 persons previously detained pending extradition to Rwanda, who were released on bail. Currently only 2 persons are in custody. They will be guaranteed in the coming days.

He also confirmed that plans are underway to increase the capacity of the National Crime Agency to pursue criminal trafficking gangs.

The financial implications of ending the Rwanda scheme and the total bill to taxpayers are not yet known.

A question mark still hangs over the fate of some 52,000 Channel migrants in Britain who are earmarked for deportation.

Labour's manifesto promises to crack down on small boats plying the Channel by hiring investigators and using counter-terrorism powers to “disrupt” criminal-trafficking gangs.

The new government has named illegal immigration as one of its top priorities, but has yet to reveal the full details of its scheme.

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