CAMPAIGNERS have failed in their bid to block Priti Patel’s plot to deport people to Rwanda.

The judgment was handed down in the High Court on Friday – but will be appealed on Monday.

The appeal will be heard a matter of hours before the first flight to the east African nation is due to leave on Tuesday.

The policy, which campaigners have branded a “neo-colonial ‘cash for humans’ scheme”, will also face a full judicial review next month.

The court heard 31 people were due on the first flight on Tuesday, with the Home Office planning to schedule more this year.

READ MORE: David Pratt: Tory deal with Rwanda's ruthless leader is Britain at its worst

Patel has claimed the scheme will work as a deterrent, stopping people from making the danger crossing over the Channel in small boats.

However, campaigners say the evidence contradicts this claim, with the number of people attempting the crossing “almost doubling” on the same time last year, before the Rwanda announcement was made.

The Home Office also faced down the UN’s refugee body in court, which asserted that Patel had misrepresented their views on her policy.

Laura Dubinsky QC for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which intervened in the case, told the court: “UNHCR is not involved in the UK-Rwanda arrangement, despite assertions to the contrary made by the Secretary of State.”

Sonya Sceats, chief executive of the charity Freedom From Torture, said: “We are disappointed that the court did not grant this injunction to ensure that nobody is sent to Rwanda before Boris Johnson’s cruel policy can be subjected to proper legal scrutiny.

“But the fight is far from over. The public have sent over 15,000 letters to airlines suspected of involvement in removals calling on them to rule themselves out, and protests are being planned up and down the country.

“We will use every available means to see that this neo-colonial ‘cash for humans’ scheme scrapped and ensure that the UK is a safe place for people fleeing war, torture and persecution.”

In his ruling, Mr Justice Swift said he did “not consider that the balance of convivence favours the grant of the generic relief”.

He also denied interim relief to two people who face removal to Rwanda.

Enver Soloman, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We are disappointed about today’s result, and it is extremely worrying that despite these legal challenges and widespread concern, the Government remains determined to press ahead with the removal of people to Rwanda as soon as next week.

“The Government are refusing to see the face behind the case. We have already had to directly intervene to stop young people being deported to Rwanda because they were falsely assessed as adults. We fear this is a threat to many more young people who are being wrongly held in detention, putting them at great risk.

“Government claims that this deal would act as a deterrent to end the model of people-traffickers, have already been disproven with the numbers of people travelling across the Channel since the announcement was made almost doubling on the same time last year. We always knew these measures would do little to stop desperate people making dangerous journeys to the UK, because they do absolutely nothing to address the reasons people come.

“The Government must reflect on the initial failures of this plan, and rethink by looking to operating an orderly, humane, and fair asylum system.”

The National:

Home Secretary Priti Patel (above) said: “I welcome the court’s decision in our favour, and 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.

“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.”

The UK Government’s own website warns that travellers to Rwanda should be “vigilant” in case of grenade attacks on public spaces, that there have been recent “armed incursions” in the south west of the country, and that the situation on both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi borders has been “unstable”.