Adil Ray has won praise from Good Morning Britain viewers after quizzing Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab on the divisive policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Ray presented Thursday morning’s GMB alongside Kate Garraway, and the pair probed Mr Raab on the controversial government plans.
The first flight to Rwanda was due to leave on Monday night but was halted at the last minute after an intervention from the European Court of Human Rights.
It’s since been said the plans, which were yesterday labelled as ‘callous’ and ‘unlawful’ by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, may now be delayed by up to a year.
However, Mr Raab defended the policy during his appearance on GMB and told presenter Adil that he was ‘wrong on so many counts’ after comparing those seeking asylum from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan to those able to come to the UK on a visa from Ukraine.
‘Thousands are still in Afghanistan, the BBC reported that 100 of them have suffered torture, they worked in a UK embassy. It seems very different for Ukrainians to Afghans and Syrians.
‘Some will say the policy is racist, Mr Raab,’ the host remarked.
The Conservative cabinet minister disagreed with Adil’s comments, telling him: ‘I won’t try and rebut on each point, but let me give you the overriding response. We have shown a big-hearted approach, whether it was in relation to Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Ukraine, all the circumstances are different. Not least proximity.
‘Most refugees want to stay as close to their home as possible because they want to go back.’
Mr Raab went on to insist: ‘The issue with Rwanda is totally different. It is about whether we have lawful routes, whether we open up our hearts and show that great tradition, that generosity of spirit in this country, but also clamp down on the illegal routes which are a major threat to human rights. They encourage trade in human misery.’
The host suggested an ‘online legal route’ for Afghans and Syrians in the same way as Ukrainians, saying: ‘Maybe they wouldn’t have to rely on these traffickers to come here, as you call them. Why can’t we do the same as we do for Ukrainians?’
‘They’re totally different sets of circumstances,’ Mr Raab responded, as he continued to be probed by Adil.
Those tuning in at home were impressed by the host’s line of questioning and called the interview a ‘car crash’ from Mr Raab.
‘Adil Ray is impressive today #GMB. Keep up the good work,’ said one on Twitter.
‘Dominic Rabb seems to forgot there are no legal routes for asylum seekers to get in to Britain. The Tories shut them all. Also, whan arrogant f**ker. #gmb,’ wrote another.
‘Adil Ray makes an excellent point. People are fleeing war-torn environments, so we pay people to house Ukrainians…but Syrians et al are deported to Rwanda. Dominic Raab says Ukrainians are less risk…? #RwandaDeportation #GMB #HumanRights #dominicraab #adilray @adilray @GMB,’ someone else weighed in.
A viewer added: ‘Adil Ray. Bro thanks for speaking up brother against Dominic Raab. Speak up brother for the minorities. Respect to you Brother. ❤️💯 #gmb #@gmb @adilray #legend #politics #doublestandards #ukraine #afganistan #uk #rwanada #immigration.’
‘Car crash interview from human earthworm Dominic Raab on #gmb this morning, he’s desperately trying to defend it being impossible for Syrian or Afghan refugees to claim asylum from abroad, while Ukrainians are allowed to do so, on the basis that brown people might be terrorists,’ another commented.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.