The Attorney General has been publicly contradicted by her own department on whether the government’s deportation policy from Rwanda is illegal.
Suella Braverman claimed last week that the UK must leave the European Convention on Human Rights to pursue the removals – arguing they would be deemed illegal under the treaty.
But Ms Braverman’s department has again claimed the policy is legal after all, as it prepares to defend it in court.
Labor said Ms Braverman had ‘demeaned her office in pursuit of her political ambitions’, resulting in ‘absolute shambles’.
The attorney general made the comments just hours before she was knocked out of the Tory leadership race, coming bottom in a poll of MPs despite her bid to drum up support by attacking human rights.
She had called on the UK to abandon Article 3 rights, under which people are protected from torture and inhuman treatment.
His comments were called “an outrageous assault on the most basic rules against human cruelty” by activists.
Ms Braverman’s intervention during her leadership campaign raised eyebrows because as attorney general she is responsible for outlining the government’s legal position – and claimed its policy was against the law .
Asked by Labor to put the department’s position in writing to parliament, Ms Braverman’s deputy said the policy was “fully consistent with all our national and international legal obligations, including ECHR rights”.
“The government’s position is that the Partnership for Migration and Economic Development is fully consistent with all of our domestic and international legal obligations, including ECHR rights,” Solicitor General Edward Timpson said in his written response.
The government will defend the plan at a High Court hearing on September 5 – the same day the new Tory leader will be announced.
Documents lodged with the court this week show the Home Office pushed through the policy despite repeated concerns from many senior UK government officials.
The policy, the brainchild of Priti Patel, will see asylum seekers who arrive on British shores in small boats sent back to Rwanda to seek asylum there, with no recourse to return.
Labour’s shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said The Independent“A few days ago, we saw the Attorney General say that it was necessary to leave the European Convention on Human Rights to implement the government’s policy in Rwanda.
“Now we have his office saying the exact opposite in the context of the ongoing litigation.
“This is not just further evidence of how Suella Braverman has debased her position in pursuit of her political ambitions, but how a government obsessed with its own power struggles has completely detached itself from the task of leading the country. It’s a real mess.”
The first flight under this policy was scheduled to take off on June 14 but was canceled after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.
A YouGov poll in April found that 42% of the public are against the plan while 35% support it. He was also condemned by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who said it would amount to the UK breaching its international obligations.