Dundee’s Brian Cox slams Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda scheme as he joins new refugee campaign

Dundee’s Brian Cox has criticised the government’s “awful” Rwanda relocation scheme as he joins calls for a new plan for refugees.

Cox – famed for playing media tycoon Logan Roy in TV hit Succession – joined trade union bosses and a former head of the British Army in signing an open letter in support of a new campaign advocating for a “fair and kind” new plan for refugees that works for everyone

The letter comes as the UK Government introduce new emergency legislation declaring Rwanda as a safe country.

They hope it will finally allow their asylum seeker relocation scheme to get under way.

The plan – first announced in 2022 – would see asylum seekers arriving in the UK removed to Rwanda for processing.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing opposition over the UK Government’s Rwanda policy. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

But flights failed to take off after the courts stepped in, ruling that the plan was unlawful as there had not been a proper assessment of whether Rwanda was a safe country for asylum seekers.

Other famous faces signing the letter alongside Brian Cox include TV presenter and former England player Gary Lineker.

UK asylum system needs ‘total re-think’

Mr Cox said the UK’s asylum system required a “total re-think”.

He said: “The UK’s asylum system is in a shambles – not least with the government’s continued attempts to push through the awful scheme to send people to Rwanda.

“We need a total rethink. Political leaders must create a system that is not just properly managed but is fair and has compassion at its heart.”

Home secretary James Cleverly, who has signed a new deal with the Rwandan government. Image: Shutterstock
Home secretary James Cleverly has signed a new deal with the Rwandan government. Image: Shutterstock

Fewer than one in five think the UK Government’s approach to the asylum system is working well, according to recent polling.

The letter, sent to the leaders of all major political parties, says Britain’s refugee system has become “ever-more uncaring, chaotic and costly”.

It added: “These policies aren’t working for refugees and they aren’t working for local communities. That’s why we have come together to say we’ve had enough.”

Ex-head of British Army joins Brian Cox

General Lord Richard Dannatt, former head of the British Army, said: “It is clear that the current system for refugees in the UK is in a terrible mess.

“The dogged pursuit of the unpopular plan to send people seeking protection to Rwanda is astonishing.”

Lord Dannatt also criticised the lack of support for Afghans fleeing the Taliban as he called for a “proper plan” that is fair for refugees and communities.

“This chaos cannot be allowed to continue,” he added.

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