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Rwanda asylum plan: I will defend scheme to Prince Charles – PM

Boris Johnson says he will explain the “obvious merits” of the UK’s Rwanda asylum plan to the Prince of Wales if he raises the issue when they meet.

Prince Charles is reported to have called the policy “appalling”, but the prime minister has called for critics to keep an “open mind”.

The pair are both attending a summit in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Friday.

Under the plan people who arrive in the UK via small boats can be removed to the east African country.

Critics of the scheme have raised Rwanda’s human rights record and include refugee organisations, politicians and the Church of England.

There have been several legal challenges in the UK against the policy, with the first flight due to take people to Africa prevented from taking off earlier this month.

Mr Johnson, who is in Kigali to meet the heads of Commonwealth countries, said Rwanda had “undergone an absolute transformation” in the last couple of decades and had come on “leaps and bounds” in education and “taking society forward”.

“People need to keep an open mind about the policy, the critics need to keep an open mind about the policy,” he said.

He added “a lot of people can see its obvious merits” and said if he saw the prince he was “going to be making that point”.

The Prince of Wales speaks to people on his visit to Rwanda
Image caption,Boris Johnson is due to meet the Prince of Wales in Kigali

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