Comments made by MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Simon Hart in a national TV interview have been labelled a ‘disgrace’.
The response comes after Welsh Secretary of State Mr. Hart appeared on Sky News to defend the Government’s new plan to offshore asylum seekers that arrive in the UK to Rwanda.
This morning the UK government announced plans to fly asylum seekers nearly 5,000 miles to Rwanda for processing amid pressure to tackle small boat crossings of the Channel.
The announcement has sparked fury with charities warning that the “cruel and nasty decision” to offshore asylum seekers more than 6,000 miles away will fail to address the issue, lead to more human suffering and chaos and cost up to £1.4 billion (much more than the current asylum system).
When questioned about the policy on Sky News this morning, Mr. Hart described the move as a "really humane step forward" and described Rwanda's human rights record as "good" despite his own Government slamming the African country over the issue just last year. Rwanda is widely recognised as an authoritarian police state with a poor human rights record.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “Once again Simon Hart has shown he has absolutely no backbone. He should be deeply ashamed of himself for defending this cruel and unnecessary policy, it is truly a disgrace.
“The Conservative Government's plan to offshore refugees thousands of kilometres from the UK is unbelievably cruel.
“The fact they plan to offshore them to an authoritarian police state with numerous human rights abuses only makes it even more sickening.
“A US Government report into human rights in Rwanda highlights the arbitrary killings carried out by security forces in Rwanda, alongside forced disappearances, the abuse of those in detention and a complete disregard for the rule of law.
“Sending refugees who are seeking safety to a country with this sort of abysmal record is utterly indefensible.
“If that wasn’t enough the scheme will cost up to £1.4 billion a year to implement, much more than the current asylum system.
“The conflict in Ukraine has shown the Welsh public are welcoming to refugees, Simon Hart and the Conservatives are completely out of touch,” she added.