Prince Charles should be 'incredibly careful' warns Tom Hunt

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has warned the Prince of Wales to be careful about expressing his private views. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has warned the Prince of Wales to be "incredibly careful" about who he shares his private views with after the row about flying asylum seekers to Rwanda.

On Saturday The Times reported that Prince Charles was said to be “more than disappointed” by the Government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda, with reports that he privately described the move as “appalling”.

Mr Hunt said the government's controversial policy had been backed by votes in opinion polls and said most critics of the move were "members of elite society".

Britain's Prince Charles attends The Prince's Teaching Institute 2011 Schools Programme Day

Details of what are said to be Prince Charles' private views have been reported by the national media - Credit: PA

He said: "Throughout the 70 years the Queen has reigned over us she has studiously avoided being dragged into political disputes and controversial debates. This is to her credit and one of the many reasons for her huge popularity across the country.

"Of course, the Prince of Wales is entitled to his private views but he needs to be incredibly careful who he airs these views around as there will always be those who seek to jump on whatever he says to promote their own political agenda. 

"However, it's worth pointing out that Clarence House hasn't confirmed or denied that anything was said about the Rwanda scheme so none of us really know the truth of the matter with regards to the speculation in the media over the past few days.

"All of the polling I've seen shows that the majority of the public support the Government's attempts to tackle the dangerous small boat crossings we've seen over the past couple of years.

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"If successful I believe the Rwanda scheme will provide a significant deterrent effect and will mean that many will decide not to attempt the dangerous channel crossing. Fingers crossed it will be a hammer blow to those engaging in human trafficking.

"I do find it ironic that many of the most vocal critics of the Government's scheme are members of elite society. These are individuals who have never had to live with the consequences of uncontrolled illegal immigration.

"When have they ever had to face a battle to get a GP appointment? A place at school for their child? Or a council house?

"As ever, there is a clear distinction to be made between legal controlled immigration that I welcome and illegal uncontrolled immigration that our country can't sustain.

"There is also a distinction to be made between genuine refugees who are fleeing directly from war zones and persecution and individuals (overwhelmingly young men) who have passed through numerous safe countries where they have failed to claim asylum and are seeking to enter our country illegally.

"None of the opponents of the Rwanda scheme have actually come up with an alternative."

The Times reported that Prince Charles is especially frustrated at the policy as he is set to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the Rwandan capital later this month.

Clarence House refused to comment on “supposed anonymous private conversations” with the prince, but stressed that he remains “politically neutral”.