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Has Suella snubbed the Archbishop's request to discuss immigration policy?

by Ros Mayfield

The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, is reported to have rebuffed or ignored an invitiation from Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss her policy on immigration with him.  The Telegraph newspaper and others say she has yet to respond to a request to meet.  The Parliamentary magazine 'The House' described a source it says is "close to the Archbishop", as saying it amounted to "a slap in the face".  There's been no comment so far from Lambeth Palace.

Ms Braverman gave a speech to a rightwing thinktank in Washington last week, where she claimed multiculturalism had "failed" and that rules on who has the right to claim asylum were not fit for the modern age, and were posing an "existential threat" to the West.  The speech was seen as highly controversial, and sparked criticism from the Bishop of Leicester and Christian refugee charities, who say she's wrong.

The Home Secretary is also firmly in favour of striking a deal with a third country, like Rwanda, who would agree to accept the UK's failed asylum seekers in return for financial compensation.  Under the proposed deal, announced by her predecessor Priti Patel, the UK government would give £120 million in development funding to Rwanda, and pay the processing and integration costs for each relocated person. 

The Most Revd Justin Welby has called that idea the "opposite of the nature of God". 

In recent months he and other leading Bishops have tabled several amendments in the House of Lords to sections of the government's Illegal Migration Bill, debating sometimes into the early hours of the morning, in their role as Lords Spiritual.

The government says the requests for the Home Secretary to meet the Archbishop were only issued informally.  Premier News has contacted Lambeth Palace for clarification.

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