The bruising clashes between James Cleverly and Amol Rajan kicked off when the presenter quoted former judge Lord Sumption.
AR: ‘He said: ”for Parliament simply to say the facts are different would be constitutionally really quite extraordinary.”
‘Is that where you want to be?’
JC: ‘Find me two lawyers and I will give you three opinions.’
AR: ‘What an extraordinary thing to say about Jonathan Sumption, who is not known to be an opponent of some of your views…’
JC: ‘Lawyers argue all the time. It is literally what they do. I have very very eminent lawyers who take a different view.
‘We absolutely respect the judgments that are laid down… it is legal to have a third country do asylum applications…’
Rajan quoted Lord Sumption again saying ‘it won’t make any difference having a tighter agreement whether it’s a treaty or not with Rwanda because the problem is Rwanda doesn’t have the institutional strength to be able to observe its own treaty obligations’.
JC: ‘I disagree… we’ve been working with the Rwandans to beef up, to strengthen, to professionalise and enhance their professional institutions… ‘
‘We’re confident that the legally binding treaty will be robust.’
Rajan said it was ‘hard to overstate how far’ the government’s position was from the Supreme Court.
He quoted the Supreme Court saying the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR ‘reported that the Rwandan officials who participated in training which it had organised had very limited or no understanding of how to assess refugee status’.
AR: ‘You must have done a huge amount of work to get from that to a position where you’re confident …’
JC: ‘That’s exactly what happened.’
As the pair talked across each other, Mr Cleverly said: ‘Are you asking questions, or are you making statements? Because if you’re just going to make a statement, I can go and get a cup of tea.’
He added: ‘I’m here, I want to answer your questions, but you are making statements and then moving on without giving me an opportunity to address the statements that you make, a number of which I disagree with.’
Another flashpoint came when Rajan asked Mr Cleverly whether it was true he had privately described the Rwanda policy as ‘batsh**’.
AR: ‘It was suggested in the House of Commons yesterday – and we don’t use this phrase lightly, so apologies to sensitive ears – that you described this policy as batsh**.’
JC: ‘You’ve stepped straight into the trap, if you don’t mind me saying, because the Labour Party would love us to discuss this particular issue rather than the gaping vacuum in the Labour Party’s immigration policy.’
AR: ‘You’ve fallen straight into the trap of not answering the question, having just given a sermon about how you want to answer the question. DO you remember if you did use that phrase?’
JC: ‘I don’t remember a conversation like that.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12756477/James-Cleverly-BBC-Amol-Rajan-Home-Secretary-Today-Rwanda.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 ‘If you’re just going to make a statement I can go and get a cup of tea’: James Cleverly in on-air bust up with BBC’s Amol Rajan in bad-tempered interview… as Home Secretary says he ‘doesn’t remember’ privately branding Rwanda policy ‘batsh**’