Suella Braverman ignores calls for talks over immigration policy from Archbishop of Canterbury who previously declared the Government’s Rwanda policy to be ‘against the judgment of God’
- A source said the ‘snub’ had been like a ‘big slap in the face’ to Lambeth House
Suella Braverman has ignored calls for talks over immigration policy from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Justin Welby, who previously declared the Government’s Rwanda policy to be ‘against the judgement of God’, is believed to have reached out to the Home Secretary. However Ms Braverman has so far refused a meeting.
A source, who is a former senior adviser to the 26 bishops who sit in the Lords, told House magazine of the impact the ‘snub’ had unleashed on Lambeth House.
They said: ‘There was shock internally. It was a big slap in the face.’
The source added that relations between bishops and ministers is ‘really toxic’.
The House, Parliament’s magazine, has been investigating relations between the Tories and the Church of England – with the latest disclosure in their findings.
Suella Braverman has ignored calls for talks over immigration policy from the Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby , who previously declared the Government’s Rwanda policy to be ‘against the judgement of God’, is believed to have reached out to the Home Secretary
A spokesperson for the magazine said: ‘We can confirm that is true. The Archbishop would be happy to meet the Home Secretary to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern.
‘In the past, the Archbishop has met other home secretaries. It is not unusual.’
The Archbishop has previously met with other senior ministers such as Education Secretary Gillian Keegan.
READ MORE HERE: Public concern over immigration jumps to its highest level in six years as a quarter of Brits say it is one of the most important issues facing the country
He has also had good relations with former Prime Minister Theresa May as they joined forces to back a modern slavery project.
Meanwhile, government sources told The Telegraph that there had been one informal approach for a meeting between the two.
There has long been conflict between the Archbishop and the Government over the policy towards migrants.
Last November The Most Rev Justin Welby warned Suella Braverman’s claims of an ‘invasion’ by migrants was ‘harmful rhetoric’.
He has previously called for a better system based on ‘compassion, justice and co-operation across frontiers’.
In May, the Archbishop mounted another attack on the Government over its immigration policy as he warned small boats laws would not stop ‘conflict or climate migration’, adding to tensions.
He told the Upper Chamber that the Illegal Migration Bill ‘fails to live up to our history, our moral responsibility, and our political and international interests’.
It comes after Ms Braverman said some migrants are ‘gaming the system’ with many lying about their ages in a bid to get asylum, ahead of the Tory party conference, which begins in Manchester on Sunday.
The Home Secretary also said in some cases, up to 50% of asylum seekers were found to be lying about their ages. Pictured: The RNLI carrying people believed to be migrants into the Port of Dover earlier this month
It comes after she made a major speech in Washington DC calling for changes to be made to international refugee rules. Pictured: Ms Braverman with US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents in Baltimore on Wednesday
The Home Secretary has said that in cases where officials challenge migrants about their ages, ‘about 50 per cent’ of the claims are found to be false.
Speaking to fellow Conservative MP Lee Anderson, she some migrants are ‘actually adults pretending to be children’ and that others lie about their religion, marital status or having family members in the UK.
She added that not everybody who crosses the English Channel in a small boat is a refugee or fleeing persecution, and there is ‘no humanitarian reason why anyone should be leaving France’
She used a major speech in Washington DC this week to demand a shake-up of international rules on refugees, as well as speaking about reform for the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ms Braverman told the deputy Tory chairman’s Real World programme on GB News: ‘Many of these people are gaming the system. We know that they will lie about their ages.
‘We know that in about 50 per cent of cases when we challenge the age, the Government is right and the claimants are wrong, and they are actually adults pretending to be children.
‘They may lie about their religion, they may lie about being married to someone or having a family member here.
‘So there is a lot of gaming of our system, and we need to inject more rigour and robustness into our framework. And actually deterrents – and that is why our partnership with Rwanda is absolutely central to solving this problem.’
The Home Secretary also delivered a ‘warning shot’ to Strasbourg judges that Britain could quit the European Convention on Human Rights as a fresh legal battle looms.
She used a major speech in Washington DC to demand a shake-up of international rules on refugees.
She also spoke of reform of the ECHR as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak grapples with the small boats crisis and tries to revive a plan for migrant deportations to Rwanda.
The Government is preparing for a three-day Supreme Court hearing over the Rwanda plan early next month, which will determine whether the scheme is lawful.
The showdown in the UK’s top court comes after the Court of Appeal ruled in June that the policy did not comply with Britain’s obligations under the ECHR.
In her speech, Mrs Braverman noted how quitting the ECHR had previously been demanded by Theresa May, one of her predecessors as Home Secretary.
Suella Braverman has delivered a ‘warning shot’ to Strasbourg judges that Britain could quit the European Convention on Human Rights as a fresh legal battle looms
According to The Times, Downing Street has given permission for Mrs Braverman to float the prospect of leaving the ECHR.
Judges at the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which oversees the convention, dramatically blocked migrant flights to Rwanda at the 11th hour last summer.
A Tory MP close to the Home Secretary said: ‘It’s a warning shot, making it clear that if the court stands in our way again, we are prepared to have that battle and leave altogether.’
The newspaper reported that No10 approved Mrs Braverman’s speech and allowed the Home Secretary to speculate on Britain’s membership of the ECHR.
But a Downing Street source this morning denied the report that they had authorised Mrs Braverman to float the prospect of the UK quitting the convention.
They stressed the Home Secretary’s speech had been about reform of international bodies and the global approach to tackling illegal immigration.
In her speech, Mrs Braverman said: ‘I reject that notion that a country cannot be expected to respect human rights if it is not signed up to an international human rights organisation.
‘As if the UK doesn’t have a proud history of human rights dating back to Magna Carta, and the ECHR is all that is holding us back from becoming Russia.
‘America, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan seem to manage just fine. None of this is particularly novel, nor should it be particularly controversial.
‘As Home Secretary, Theresa May called for Britain to leave the ECHR.
‘And it was Conservative Party policy under Michael Howard to leave the Refugee Convention – I’m merely advocating for reform.’
The Supreme Court is set to hear legal arguments over the Rwanda policy in a three-day hearing from 9 October.
Judges at the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which oversees the convention, dramatically blocked migrant flights to Rwanda at the 11th hour last summer
Mrs Braverman, pictured in Rwanda in March, spoke of reform of the ECHR as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak grapples with the small boats crisis and tries to revive a deportation plan
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat travelling from the coast of France and heading in the direction of Dover, Kent
Government minister Richard Holden was sked this morning whether speculation about leaving the ECHR was ‘posturing’ or an ‘actual desire’ of ministers.
He told Times Radio: ‘We’re currently going through a court case within the ECHR process around the Rwanda scheme.
‘I’m really hopeful that the legal community and the judges will listen to the Government’s arguments on that.
‘And will see that this scheme is acceptable within the ECHR framework.
‘All I was pointing out more generally is the fact that a lot of these agreements were signed a very long time ago when things were incredibly different.
‘This was before mass air flight, for example.
‘I think it’s quite important that we recognise as time moves on, it’s right that we ask the questions again about these conventions.
‘About whether they’re fit for purpose and about how we can sometimes improve our international agreements so they’re fit for the modern times.’
A No 10 source has denied tensions between the Home Secretary and Prime Minister, telling the Telegraph: ‘They’re both confident in our case at the Supreme Court and are committed to getting the Rwanda plan up and running.’
MailOnline has contacted Number 10 for more information.
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