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Keir Starmer, new British prime minister, scraps plan to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda

In his first hours in office, the Labour Party member overturned the policy introduced by his predecessor, Rishi Sunak.

Keir Starmer, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.Cordon Press

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British Labour Prime Minister Keir Starmer confirmed Saturday his intention to overturn the previous Conservative government's plan to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda.

The project "was dead and buried before it started. It’s never been a deterrent. I’m not prepared to continue with gimmicks that don’t act as a deterrent," Starmer said during a press conference after the new government's first council of ministers.

Starmer had announced during the election campaign his intention to overturn the project which chartered planes to Rwanda, a small East African country, with illegal migrants.

The 61-year-old Labour leader, whose victory in Thursday's election ended 14 years of Conservative government, said instead that he is committed to implementing a strategy to fight human smuggling mafias and curb illegal immigration.

His predecessor, Rishi Sunak, tried to implement deportations to curb the continuous arrival of migrants in small boats across the English Channel, which separates the coasts of England and France.