Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”If you are someone who is fleeing Sudan for humanitarian reasons there are various mechanisms you can use. The UNHCR is present in the region and they are the right mechanism by which people should apply … to seek asylum in the United Kingdom”

Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, Sky News

Facts

Suella Braverman stated on Sky News that those fleeing Sudan for humanitarian reasons should apply through the UNHCR if they want to seek asylum in the UK.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick made a similar statement in the House of Commons later that same day. 

In response to both Braverman and Jenrick’s comments, the UNHCR issued a statement clarifying that “there is no mechanism through which refugees can approach UNHCR with the intention of seeking asylum in the UK. There is no asylum visa or ‘queue’ for the United Kingdom.”

There are no “safe and legal routes” for Sudanese asylum seekers into the UK. The UNHCR adds that whilst it is possible for them to recommend a Sudanese refugee be settled in the UK, this is only if they are under threat of persecution in the country they have fled to from Sudan. 

The statement continued that the resettlement option for at-risk refugees was “the rare exception – available to fewer than 1% of refugees worldwide”, that “there is no application process for resettlement – refugees at heightened risk are identified by the UNHCR” and that “the overwhelming majority of refugees have no access to such pathways to the UK.”

Full Fact asked the Home Office about Braverman and Jenrick’s comment and were told that Sudanese nationals who wish to come to the UK will require a valid UK visa. 

Verdict

Suella Braverman is wrong to suggest that Sudanese nationals fleeing their country can apply to come to the UK specifically through the UNHCR

Suella Braverman was misleading the House of Commons. According to the Ministerial Code,  “It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.  Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.” Suella Braverman was misleading parliament in defiance of the Ministerial Code, in theory, a resignation offence.

This remark to Sky News was just one of a series of false and misleading statements made by Rishi Sunak and his ministers about the Asylum system.

We reached out to the Home Office which replied to the effect that this “is not something the Home Office would comment on.” We also reached out to Suella Braverman’s parliamentary office, but received no reply.

Scroll to Top