Taxpayers are being handed a £290 million bill for the controversial Rwanda deportation scheme despite not a single flight taking off for the east African country.
It has emerged the government spent a further £100 million in the 2023-24 financial year on the policy, on top of the £140 million previously paid out.
Ministers expect another £50 million cost in the coming year. One-way flights taking asylum seekers to Rwanda remain grounded amid a series of legal setbacks.
The figures were revealed in a letter from Home Office official Matthew Rycroft to the chairs of two parliamentary committees probing the policy.
Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “It’s basically £100m for every home secretary trip to Rwanda. Even by the standards of this chaotic and hopeless Tory government, this is unbelievable.”
This week, the Conservatives unveiled a bill that will let it ignore a part of the UK’s human rights law in order to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as part of Rishi Sunak’s “stop the boats” policy.
The legislation is designed to overcome a block by the UK Supreme Court on its Rwanda policy. The court ruled last month that the plan was illegal because Rwanda isn’t a safe country for refugees.