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Prince Charles has allegedly branded the UK’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda as “appalling”, according to reports.
The Prince of Wales is said to be frustrated at Boris Johnson’s asylum plan, and a source claimed to have heard Charles, 73, voicing the view in private on several occasions, according to reports in The Times.
The insider indicated the Prince was particularly uncomfortable about the policy amid fears that it would overshadow the summit on June 23.
The source added: “He said he was more than disappointed at the policy. He said he thinks the Government’s whole approach is appalling. It was clear he was not impressed with the Government’s direction of travel.”
He is due to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, later this month.
Clarence House did not deny that Charles was opposed to the policy but made it clear he had not tried to influence the Government.
A spokesman said: “We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversations with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for Government.”
The claims were made as Home Secretary Priti Patel’s bid to fix the asylum system received a major boost when a High Court judge ruled the first flight to Rwanda can take off on Tuesday.
Two campaign groups - DetentionAction and Care4Calais - had joined the PCS union and four asylum seekers in legal action against the Home Office.
Mr Justice Jonathan Swift said it was in the public interest that the Home Secretary could “implement immigration control measures”.
However, campaigners were last night granted permission to challenge his ruling. The appeal will be heard at the Court of Appeal on Monday.
Under the scheme, those entering the UK illegally will be flown to Rwanda where they can apply for asylum.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Welcome news from the High Court today.
“We cannot allow people traffickers to put lives at risk, and our world-leading partnership will help break the business model of these ruthless criminals.”
Ms Patel vowed to fight any other challenges, adding: “Rwanda is a safe country.”
Campaigners had told the court Rwanda is unsafe as asylum seekers are unlikely to receive fair hearings due to a lack of accommodation, translators or training among immigration officials there.
But Mr Justice Swift ruled the agreement between the Government and Rwanda’s government is a “formal” document and this will ensure proper processes are followed.
And while there is a need for “vigilance”, evidence from the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is not enough to suggest “the Rwandan system is not fit for purpose”, he added.
Lawyers for the Government claimed there was a strong public interest in allowing flights to leave as Ms Patel tries to prevent people smugglers forcing vulnerable migrants into tiny, dangerous boats.
A final hearing will take place next month.