Prince Charles jets out to Rwanda amid row over Government’s controversial migrants policy

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Prince Charles jets out to Rwanda amid row over Government’s controversial migrants policy
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The Prince of Wales was jetting off to Rwanda on Tuesday amid fears his visit will be overshadowed by the row over the Government’s controversial migrants policy.

Charles will represent the Queen at the much-awaited Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that was postponed by the pandemic.

But the timing of the visit will lead to experts at the showpiece gathering in Kigali looking for awkward moments between the future king and Boris Johnson.

It comes after a newspaper report claimed Charles privately branded the Government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda “appalling”.

A source was reported to have heard Charles express opposition to the policy several times in private, and that he was “more than disappointed” by it.

The Government’s Rwanda policy intends to take some migrants who cross the Channel on a one-way ticket to the African country.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has vowed to press ahead with it despite the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights, which last week blocked the first flight.

Mr Johnson will lead the UK’s delegation at the summit, which will see 5,000 delegates including 35 heads of state holding a series of meetings under the theme “delivering a common future”.

The prince’s relationship with Mr Johnson was already said to be strained over the Prime Minister keeping him waiting when he was late for a meeting. Clarence House, Charles’s London office, insist that the prince remains “politically neutral”.

Aides refused to comment on the reported private conversations that the prince may or may not have had. “Matters of policy are decisions for government,” his office stated.

But it is known that Charles is concerned about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, a subject he has spoken on with compassion.

His Easter message focused on the “unutterable tragedy” of those who had been “forced to flee their country and seek shelter far from home”.

They were “in need of a welcome, of rest, and of kindness”, said Charles, who believes in showing leadership on big issues.

His comments and the timing of them were seen as not being accidental.

The trip will be the first royal visit to Rwanda and one of a minority of nations the Queen has not visited.

Charles last represented the Queen at the event in Sri Lanka in 2013 and in 2018 he was appointed the monarch’s designated successor as head of the Commonwealth.

The event, which is usually held in a different country every two years, brings together leaders from the 54 Commonwealth nations.

It has an agenda including climate change, economic development and opportunities for young people.

Charles will return at the weekend.

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