Boris Johnson wants to avoid confrontation with Prince of Wales over criticism of Rwanda’s ‘shaky’ asylum system

Boris Johnson will avoid confrontation with the Prince of Wales over his plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, which Charles has reportedly labeled “appalling”.

The pair are due to meet on Friday at the Commonwealth Government Leaders’ Meeting (Chogm) in the African country, where the Prime Minister initially told reporters he would explain the plan’s “obvious benefits” to the successor to the throne.

But Downing Street later withdrew from the promise, saying it was “unlikely” Johnson would mention the scheme, which involves flying asylum seekers crossing the canal in small boats to Rwanda without first assessing their claim to a UK refuge. .

No 10 also said the prime minister did not raise the issue of human rights in talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite a series of reports of political repression, alleged assassinations and the imprisonment of critics.

Johnson insisted that the East African nation had undergone an “absolute transformation” and said it was “condescending” to oppose plans to force asylum seekers to do so.

The scheme was strongly condemned at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly of MPs from across the continent, who described it as “unethical” and “racist”.

Plans for the first flight were halted at the last minute last week by rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and the British Court of Appeal, and further attempts to fly migrants out are unlikely to be made until after a judicial review next month.

But No. 10 said the policy would not be “first in his mind” when Mr Johnson joins the prince for talks over a cup of tea, in their first conversation since the reports of Charles’ private remarks. It was implied that the prince probably would not bring it up either.

Despite being in Rwanda for the first time since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Johnson was not expected to visit the facilities set up to receive “tens of thousands” of asylum seekers from the UK once the scheme is in place.

The government in Kigali said it had already received payments under a £ 120 million economic and migration agreement signed by Interior Minister Priti Patel two months ago and some of the money had already been spent.

Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said: “Because it was intended to prepare all housing and all other institutions to strengthen the processes – so it has been done.”

A Downing Street report on talks between Mr Johnson and Mr Kagame suggested the couple were trying to claim success for the scheme, despite the fact that no migrants have yet been removed from the UK.

A 10-year-old spokesman said: “Leaders also praised the successful migration and economic development partnership between Britain and Rwanda, which tackles dangerous smuggling gangs while offering people a chance to build a new life in a safe country.”

Johnson defended the scheme, which has been described by the bishops of the Church of England as bringing “shame” on Britain.

Speaking to reporters as he prepared to fly to Rwanda, the prime minister said he hoped the trip would “perhaps help others shed some of their condescending views on Rwanda and how this partnership could work”.

Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to a school in Kigali, he said: “People need to have an open mind about politics, critics need to have an open mind about politics.

“Many people can see its obvious benefits. So yes, of course, if I see the prince tomorrow, I’ll make it clear.”

Johnson said he found it “completely shocking” to see evidence of the 1994 genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus at a memorial in Kigali.

“We must do everything we can to ensure that human hearts are never again allowed to breed such hatred,” he said.

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