MHAIRI Black was applauded on Question Time after she pulled apart the Tories’ Rwanda deportation policy.

The SNP’s depute leader at Westminster argued that the policy – which had been ruled illegal in the courts earlier the same day – was morally and financially wrong.

She told the audience: “For two reasons I think we should scrap it [the Rwanda policy] altogether.

“The first one being on a moral compass, because I think it is a barbaric system to begin with. There is no such thing as an illegal human being – especially not those who are fleeing war and persecution.

“Secondly, I would add to that, even if you just look at it as purely a financial argument, the UK Government’s own figures show that the taxpayer is paying £169,000 per migrant – that's to send one person to Rwanda.

“It's going to cost £1.8 billion to deport all of the 11,000 people that have arrived in the UK this year.”

Black added: “If the Tories are serious about getting money spent in good places, it would have been an idea over the last decade not to keep implementing austerity, not to hand out Covid contracts out to their pals for PPE that wasn't fit for purpose.”

After the SNP MP spoke, an audience member said that the rhetoric around migrants was parallel to the language used in the 1930s.

“As a child I couldn't understand how the Nazis came to power,” she went on. “And now I understand it. We’re starting to ‘other’ other people.”

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Tory health minister Helen Whately, appearing on the show to speak for the UK Government, had argued that Rwanda deportations were a necessary deterrent to stem the flow of migration over the Channel.

“If we don’t do something about this, by 2026 it’s going to be costing the country £11bn a year,” she said. “That’s not sustainable so we have to do something different. We have to do something to deter people coming in small boats.”

Later on the Question Time broadcast, Whately was left alone in supporting the Rwanda policy when not one member of the audience would say they backed it.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court ruling that said Rwanda could be considered a “safe third country”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he “fundamentally” disagreed with the ruling and will seek permission to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The Tories have insisted that Rwanda is a safe country, even as the UK Government's own website warned travellers of risks of "grenade attacks" and "armed incursions".