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According to the British Home Secretary, the European Court of Justice was politically motivated in its decision to actually land the first British flight carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Priti Patel said the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to issue a temporary injunction against the plane’s landing was called “absolutely scandalous”.

“You have to look at motivation,” she said. Daily Telegraph. “How and why did they make such a decision? Was it politically motivated? I think yes, absolutely.”

“The opacity of the work of this court is simply outrageous. This needs to be questioned,” she said.

“We don’t know who the judges are, we don’t know who the commission is, we didn’t really have a decision – just a press release and a letter saying we can’t move this person under rule 39.”

“They have not used this ruling before, which makes you question the motivation and lack of transparency.”

In April, Patel signed an agreement that allowed asylum seekers who entered the UK illegally – usually by crossing the English Channel on a trafficker’s boat – to travel to Rwanda and be held there while their applications are being processed.

Many charities and pressure groups, as well as the Labor Party and some Conservative MPs, oppose the policy, with many arguing that it could violate international law.

The government has said all along that it expects a series of litigation.

Legal claims to the legality of the policy itself will be addressed in the coming months.

However, refugee and asylum advocacy groups have asked judges in British courts to block the first flight – effectively suspending the policy – until complaints about the general legality can be addressed.

British courts, including the High Court and the Supreme Court, have ruled in favor of the government and the flight appears to have taken place on Monday evening, even though there were only seven people on board, after several separate successful appeals for specific individuals.

Then, a few minutes before the flight’s departure, the ECtHR took an urgent temporary measure against an Iraqi citizen who was scheduled to fly on a charter flight. It stated that the person concerned should not be expelled to Rwanda until three weeks had elapsed after the final domestic decision had been made in his ongoing legal proceedings.

This decision by the ECtHR meant that the remaining six people on the flight now had grounds to have their removal orders rescinded, effectively suspending the flight and freezing policy.

The latest rulings have sparked calls from some Conservative MPs to withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court has ruled.

The government has so far not indicated any intention to leave, although dignitaries have refused to rule out such a possibility when asked about it in recent days.

Attorney General Swella Braverman told the BBC: “The government has made it clear to the media following the decision of the European Court of Human Rights that all options are being considered. So we don’t exclude anything and we don’t exclude anything.”

Justice Minister Dominic Raab suggested that the UK would remain within the convention, but new laws could ensure that the Strasbourg court’s provisional measures could be effectively ignored by the government.

The prime minister has repeatedly lashed out at those filing lawsuits, accusing them of “aiding” criminal gangs.

PA Media contributed to this report

Simon Veasey

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Simon Vesey is a British journalist who has written for The Epoch Times since 2006 on topics ranging from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to breaking news stories online.

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