Sir Keir slammed after Labour candidate sells holidays to Rwanda while party says it's too risky for illegal migrants | The Sun

SIR Keir Starmer stands accused of hypocrisy after a Labour election candidate organises kids’ holidays to Rwanda.

The leader is under fire over the selection as the party opposes the government plan to deport migrants to the African country.

Wannabe MP Sam Rushworth is the founder of the African Dreams firm which specialises in sending kids as young as 13 to Rwanda.

He is set to stand in the target seat of Bishop Auckland which is currently held by the Conservatives – seen as a crunch seat in the so-called Red Wall.

Labour has called the Tory attack as "desperate stuff".

The company says the country is a “safe and supporting environment” for youths and vows to give them an “unforgettable” summer of adventure.

They even offer a top-of-the-range package worth £1,999 per person for a ten day stay in the country, the Mail on Sunday reported.

But the offer appears to fly in the face of Labour’s opposition to the policy who have said sending asylum seekers there is “deeply unethical”.

Sir Keir Starmer would scrap the plan if he got in office but said last week he would consider off-shoring to process asylum claims.

But Rushworth even posed for a picture wearing a football jersey with Rwanda emblazoned across his chest.

He also said that he would like dual citizenship with the country and Brits should go there “to escape the UK winter”.

Rishi Sunak last week saw off a potential rebellion against his flagship Rwanda plan when more than two dozen of his MPs abstained on the plan in a crunch Commons vote.

The Prime Minister came up with new legislation after the Supreme Court ruled that the scheme was unlawful.

Rushworth said that profits from African Dreams go to charities in the country and he doesn’t take a salary or dividends adding that he was proud of the holidays.

He says the pandemic affected the company and no tours are currently being organised.

Tory party chair Richard Holden said: “The level of sheer hypocrisy from Sir Keir Starmer’s hand-picked Labour candidate is utterly staggering.

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“Labour have voted more than 60 times to block our plans to tackle illegal immigration with flights to Rwanda pretending it’s not safe – yet one of their top candidates is selling children’s holidays there! It’s unbelievable hypocrisy.”

A Labour spokesman hit back last night saying: “This is desperate stuff even by the Tories own standards. It’s ludicrous to try and compare a school trip with subcontracting our asylum system to Rwanda.

“It was the UK courts, not the Labour Party, that determined Rwanda wasn’t an appropriate place for the Government to send asylum seekers to.

‘The Tories should stop wasting millions of taxpayers’ money on this Rwanda gimmick and deliver Labour’s plan to smash the gangs which is the only thing that will work to stop the channel crossings.”

Mr Dowden re-emphasised other ministers by indicating that the government could be open to compromise over amendments during the upcoming parliamentary stages of the Rwanda plan.

He said: "We will listen to our colleagues about how we can improve this legislation, of course we will.

"I think this is a good piece of legislation that does the job, which is about ensuring that we control migration."

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Mr Dowden added: "Of course, we don't rule out amendments and, of course, we will engage with that – that's what happens with any piece of parliamentary legislation.

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"What I would say, though, is that the Prime Minister is a pretty rigorous person, he's looked through this very carefully, turned it upside down, shaken it around, he's pretty sure this is the best thing we can get.

"But, of course, if there are other ways of improving it, we'll be open to doing that."

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