A TORY Home Office minister triggered fury when he falsely claimed that the “SNP don’t house refugees in Scotland”.

Robert Jenrick, the minister for immigration, made the comments as he attempted to defend the Government’s economic impact assessment for its Rwanda policy.

The document, released late on Monday evening, showed that it would cost around £169,000 per person to deport asylum seekers to the African nation – enough to pay for each of them to board at Eton for three full years.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper slammed the document as “clueless and chaotic”.

The Government has defended the costs of the Rwanda scheme – where asylum seekers who have arrived in Britain through illegal routes would be sent to the country to be housed in a hotel in its capital – as saving money over the current system.

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SNP home affairs spokesperson Alison Thewliss accused the Tories of failing to “recognise the value of human potential” and contrasted this to her experience of Refugee Week in Scotland.

Refugee Week is a festival with events around the world celebrating the contributions of people fleeing their homes for safety.

“We know the cost of this cruel Tory ideology is £169,000 per soul deported – costing more than if people were allowed to stay,” she said.

Thewliss added: “They say this will save money because victims of modern slavery will no longer be entitled to support. How despicable. This is an egregious waste of public money in a cost of living crisis. It fails to recognise the value of human potential.

“We’ve just celebrated Refugee Festival in Scotland, an incredible experience which celebrates the contribution of those who come to our shores for sanctuary and it’s increasingly evident, increasingly evident that the only way that Scotland can uphold our humanitarian values is by regaining our independence.”

Jenrick replied: “I’m delighted that [Thewliss] celebrated Refugee Week. I don’t know if any refugees came to it because the SNP don’t house refugees in Scotland. The point is that we are proud of our record as a country, since 2015, we’ve welcomed over half a million people into the UK under a Conservative Government seeking genuine sanctuary from war and persecution, individuals coming from Hong Kong and Ukraine and Syria and Afghanistan.

“The SNP continually pose as humanitarians. But we all know the truth is that at every single opportunity they fail to live up to their fine words.

"If the SNP cared about this, they would welcome asylum seekers into their own part of the UK – but they don’t.”

Jenrick was heckled during his reply, with the Glasgow MP bellowing: “How dare you?”

Home Office data from 2020 to 2021 published last year showed Scotland took in around 13% of all refugees resettled in the UK during that period – above the country’s population share of 8% of the British total.

Jenrick made similar comments last year when he said the only part of Scotland “pulling its fair share and taking asylum seekers in” was Glasgow, run by an SNP administration.

Speaking after the debate, Thewliss said the minister's comments were inaccurate. 

Raising a point of order, she said: "It's not up to the Scottish Government, it's up to the Home Office where people are dispersed, not the Scottish Government. 

"Glasgow supports around 5000 asylum seekers, Scotland took well over its population share of Ukrainians, every single local authority in Scotland took people as part of the Syrian resettlement scheme."

READ MORE: Afghan refugee waits 82 weeks in Home Office bridging hotel, figures reveal

It comes after Westminster’s Women and Equalities Committee published a report urging the Government not to send children to Rwanda.

Caroline Noakes, chair of the committee, said: “Any intention to detain child asylum seekers under the Illegal Migration Bill and forcibly remove them to Rwanda must be abandoned. The risk of harm to children outweighs any perceived damage to the effectiveness of the Government’s policy agenda.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have amended the Bill to make clear that an unaccompanied child under 18 can only be removed in very limited circumstances. Where a removal decision is made, detention will be for the shortest possible time with necessary support provisions in place.”