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Prince Charles calls Britain’s Rwanda migrant policy ‘appalling’: Reports

Prince Charles has privately described the UK government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as ‘appalling’, according to two news outlets, as the first flight carrying refugees to the East African country must leave next week.

Charles, heir to the British throne, has been heard criticizing the policy, The Times and Daily Mail newspapers reported.

Charles fears the controversial asylum policy could overshadow a Commonwealth summit in Rwanda where he is due to represent his mother Queen Elizabeth at the end of this month, The Times reported.

Read also | UK’s first flight carrying migrants to Rwanda may go ahead, court rules

“He said he was more than disappointed with the politics,” a source told The Times.

“He said he thought the government’s whole approach was appalling. It was clear he was unimpressed with the government’s direction of travel.”

A spokesperson for Charles did not deny expressing personal views on the policy privately.

“We will not comment on purported anonymous private conversations with the Prince except to reaffirm that he remains politically neutral. Policy issues are government decisions,” the spokesperson said.

Watch | UK to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda: UNHCR accuses UK of dishonesty

The British government announced in April that it had struck a deal to send potentially tens of thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda in a bid to undermine smuggling networks.

At least 30 people are still to be deported from Britain next week.

The government overcame a legal challenge to the policy on Friday as a judge dismissed activists’ attempts to obtain an injunction. He said the first flight could leave on Tuesday.

Read also | Activists urge Commonwealth to pressure Rwanda on human rights

Under Britain’s unwritten constitution, the royal family must remain politically neutral. Queen Elizabeth has firmly kept her opinions to herself during her seven-decade reign.

Charles, on the other hand, expressed opinions on topics close to his heart such as nature conservation, architecture and genetically modified crops.

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Post expires at 2:46pm on Tuesday June 21st, 2022