Prince Charles privately described the government’s policy of sending migrants to Rwanda as “appalling”, according to reports.
The heir to the throne is said to be particularly uncomfortable with the scheme as he believes the widely criticised policy will overshadow his upcoming visit to the country, where he will represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.
Charles was heard expressing opposition to home secretary Priti Patel’s plans several times in private, and was “more than disappointed”, a source told The Times and the Daily Mail.
“He said he thinks the government’s whole approach is appalling. It was clear he was not impressed with the government’s direction of travel,” the Times reported.
Clarence House did not deny this was the case, but said Charles would never seek to influence the running of government.
A spokesperson said: “We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversations with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for government.”
The Prince of Wales’ alleged comments came as the High Court blocked a bid to stop the first flight of migrants to Rwanda.
Up to 130 people had been notified they could be removed, with 31 people due on Tuesday’s flight.
Lawyers for almost 100 migrants had submitted legal challenges asking to stay in the UK with the remaining anticipated to follow suit.
But the High Court rejected campaigners’ bid for an injunction to stop the deportation flight,
Ms Patel welcomed the ruling, saying the government will “now continue to deliver on progressing our world-leading migration partnership”.
“People will continue to try and prevent their relocation through legal challenges and last-minute claims, but we will not be deterred in breaking the deadly people smuggling trade and ultimately saving lives,” she said.
“Rwanda is a safe country and has previously been recognised for providing a safe haven for refugees – we will continue preparations for the first flight to Rwanda, alongside the range of other measures intended to reduce small boat crossings.”
Campaigners said they were “disappointed” and “deeply concerned” for the welfare of those due to be sent to Rwanda, but added that they would appeal against the decision in court on Monday.