Home Secretary Suella Braverman (Photo: Ian Forsyth via Getty Images)
Suella Braverman revealed that it is her “dream” to get the divisive Rwanda immigration policy off the ground – in both senses – on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, she explained to The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope that she was still passionate about the plan, first championed by her predecessor Priti Patel.
The policy meant to send “illegal” asylum seekers arriving to the UK via the English Channel to Rwanda. The plan fell apart before the first flight could even take off, as the European Court of of Human Rights intervened.
The government has been trying to work out ways around the court’s ruling ever since.
“I would love to have a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda, that’s my dream, it’s my obsession,” Braverman told Chopper’s Politics on Tuesday.
″[Starting by Christmas] would be amazing but if I’m honest I think it will take longer. We’ve got to come out of the legal dispute we are currently in.”
Braverman, who was appoint to the Home Office only last month, said the “ultimate aspiration” was to reduce net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands, although she added: “I am not going to commit to a number.”
More than 33,000 people have travelled to the UK across the English Channel in small boats so far this year, according to PA news agency.
The cabinet minister has also pledged to prevent human rights laws “interfering” with the deportation of illegal migrants, by proposing a new law which stops anyone who crosses the Channel from claiming asylum in the UK.
Braverman has condemned the European court in Strasbourg for “grossly expanding” the remit of the European Convention on Human Rights to include asylum claims, as part of its “mission creep”.
But, back in the podcast, Braverman admitted that “we have got to let” the ongoing legal battles around the Rwanda plan “play out”.
The home secretary then got a round of applause from Tory members after she said she was “proud of the British Empire”, although she did briefly admit that its legacy was “obviously a mixed picture”.
Braverman’s father migrated to the UK from Kenya, and her mother from Mauritius. She told the room that they, too, were proud of the Empire, after they travelled here legitimately.
Amid the ongoing drama over the 45p U-turn, Braverman has accused Tory rebels of staging a “coup” against the government to get it to overturn the controversial policy.
She said: “We should be supporting [the PM] and I am very disappointed to say the least about how some of colleagues have behaved.”
🗣️ “I hope I annoy them, that would be my delight, if I’m annoying the Left”@SuellaBraverman joined @christopherhope for a live @ChoppersPodcast at the Conservative Party conference today.
See more here:https://t.co/VEyZhCO6p5pic.twitter.com/SAxz1FbjD7
— Telegraph Politics (@TelePolitics) October 4, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.