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Protests planned across country as court rules Rwanda refugee flight can go ahead

The Court of Appeal this afternoon ruled that the flight can go ahead, with just 11 people due to be on board

Protests are planned across the country on the eve of the government’s first refugee deportation flight to Rwanda.

The Court of Appeal this afternoon ruled that the flight could take place, deciding not to overturn a ruling made last week in the High Court.

Eleven asylum seekers are due to be on board, down from an original number of over 100, with the flight set to leave from Stansted at 10.30pm on Tuesday night.

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Campaigners warned the government’s plans are “another Windrush in the making”, saying initial protests were “just the beginning of this fight.”

In the hours before the protest, campaigners waited to hear a verdict from the Court of Appeal, which is due to rule on an attempt to block the flight.

Shortly after 4.30pm, Lord Justice Singh dismissed the appeal, meaning the flight is free to go ahead.

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Protests in London are planned outside the Home Office on Marsham Street at 5.30pm, and outside Downing Street at 6pm.

In Nottingham, a rally is planned starting at the Brian Clough statue, near Old Market Square, from 4.30pm.

A gathering is planned for Tuesday evening in Glasgow, with protesters meeting at 6pm in George Square.

This week’s protests follow action over the weekend, as pressure mounts with the flight approaching.

A rally outside Brook House immigration removal centre on Sunday saw protesters shaking the outer fence of the detention centre while detainees chanted from inside.

Hundreds also rallied in Manchester city centre on Sunday, with a reverend telling the crowd: “This piece of legislation goes against the essence of God.”

The Home Office describes Rwanda as a “safe and stable” country, and says the scheme will save lives.

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