Rachel Reeves calls for deportations to be ramped up
Sky News

The Shadow Chancellor has been sharply criticised by members of her own party after offering her assessment of the UK’s asylum system.

Rachel Reeves was accused of being a closeted Tory after adopting a hardline approach to the treatment of illegal immigrants.

The Labour MP was speaking to Sky News on Tuesday evening when she lambasted the Conservative Party’s record on tackling the influx of migrants to the country.

“They need to process claims faster, get people out of the country if they’ve got no right to be here and get a grip of their failed immigration system,” she said.

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But her outlook was met with disapproval by many, including former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. She offered a curt rebuttal on Twitter, writing: “My colleague Rachel Reeves should not be calling for more deportations. That way lies the Windrush scandal.”

Those last six words pack more punch than a long rant ever could.

The scandal, which emerged in 2018, saw hundreds of Caribbean immigrants living and working in the UK wrongfully targeted by immigration enforcement as a result of the government’s “hostile environment” policies. It remains a source of national shame.

Within half an hour, Abbott's tweet had racked up more than 1,000 likes, as fellow critics condemned the Shadow Chancellor's comments.

Scores of commentators accused Reeves of taking a right wing approach that would be more at home with the current government than with Labour:

Meanwhile, others offered Reeves some tips on how she should have responded to the question of how to approach illegal immigration.

Still, not to be outdone, Home Secretary Suella Braverman was quick to go even further with her own visions of tackling the influx of migrants.

On Tuesday, she broke with Government policy to call for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as she urged a crackdown on illegal migration.

She said it was her personal view and acknowledged Government policy was to work within the boundaries of the convention, which is interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights.

She told a Spectator event at the Tory conference in Birmingham: “I was pretty blunt about this issue in my leadership campaign.

“My position personally is that ultimately we do need to leave the European Convention on Human Rights. That is not government policy, I should say, government policy is to do everything we can within the convention, within the boundaries of the convention. But if that doesn’t work, then we will have to consider all options.”

An intervention by the European court contributed to the grounding of the first flight under the Government’s policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In her main conference speech, Braverman said migrants crossing the Channel will face a ban from claiming asylum in Britain.

The new laws – which go further than the Nationality and Borders Act which came into force in June – will impose a blanket ban on anyone deemed entering the UK illegally from seeking refuge.

The announcement marks the latest attempt by the Government to curb the growing numbers of Channel crossings after its flagship policy to send migrants on a one-way trip to Rwanda stalled amid the legal challenges.

So far this year more than 33,500 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey from France.

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