Yvette Cooper says Priti Patel only cares about 'picking fights and finding someone else to blame'

Yvette Cooper says Priti Patel only cares about 'picking fights and finding someone else to blame'
Government's Rwanda asylum plan 'unworkable and unethical', says Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper has slammed Priti Patel over the government's controversial Rwanda policy, claiming the minister only cares about "picking fights and finding someone else to blame".

Speaking after the ECHR blocked the first flight to Rwanda on Tuesday evening, the shadow home secretary ripped into Patel and called the plan "unworkable and ethical".

She said: "If she was serious about tackling illegal economic migration or cutting the bills for people in hotels she would be speeding up home office decision making so refugees can get support and those who aren't can be returned home.

"Instead her decisions have totally collapsed from 28,000 a year to just 14,000 decisions a year, fewer than Belgium, the Netherlands nevermind Germany or France and she's so badly failing to take those basic decisions she is trying to pay a country thousands of miles away to take decisions for us instead."

"How shameful does that make us look around the world if our home office cannot take those basic decisions?" she added.

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She continued: "She knew about problem after problem with her policy. She knows this is unworkable, unethical and won't stop the criminal gangs but yet she still went ahead and spent half a million pounds chartering a plane she never expected to fly.

"She still went ahead and wrote a £120 million cheque to Rwanda with a promise of more to come and she still went ahead because all she really cares about is picking fights and finding someone else to blame."

Up to seven people were due to be sent to the east African country on Tuesday night. However, after an out-of-hours judge considered an appeal, the UK decision was overruled. But Patel and the government will continue trying to get the plan (quite literally) off the ground.

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