THE UK Government has deported the first asylum seeker to Rwanda under a voluntary scheme, according to reports.

The Sun reported that an unnamed man was flown to Rwanda on a commercial flight on Monday after his asylum claim was rejected.

However, the man was not deported under the forced returns scheme being pushed through by the UK Government but instead was offered up to £3000 to move to Rwanda voluntarily.

Rwandan authorities confirmed the man arrived on a flight from London on Tuesday.

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The UK Government have so far refused to offer any details about the man other than to say he had exhausted all legal options to remain in the UK.

Last year, 19,253 asylum seekers and migrants were removed from the UK under this voluntary scheme, with more than 3000 receiving a financial “reintegration package” or having their flights paid for by the Home Office.

Labour MP and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the voluntary deportation amounted to a “pre-election gimmick”.

She added: "The Tories are so desperate to get any flight off to Rwanda before the local elections that they have now just paid someone to go.”

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It comes as the UK Government continues to push the controversial forced return scheme to Rwanda, which it is aiming to put in force by summer, after introducing legislation to override a Supreme Court ruling which found there were “substantial grounds for believing that asylum seekers sent to Rwanda would face a real risk of ill—treatment”.

Unlike the voluntary scheme, those with failed asylum applications will have no choice but to be sent to Rwanda.

So far, Rwanda has agreed to accept 5700 asylum seekers from the UK if the scheme goes ahead.

The fact a failed asylum seeker volunteered to go to Rwanda should be “trumpeted” as it shows the country is safe, according to UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch (below).

The National: Kemi Badenoch

She told Times Radio: “The easiest cases will be the first ones. I do think that we should be trumpeting it because one of the big arguments about this scheme was Rwanda wasn’t a safe country, and actually people are volunteering to go there.

“I know people who go there on holiday, a lot of people have been.

“We need to get away from a lot of the myths about this African country which is actually a leader on the continent in terms of what it’s been able to achieve both economically and around law and order.

“There is no cost-free option, but I think that this is the right policy.

“It’s obviously already acting as a deterrent if we look at what the Irish government has been putting out.

“Just assuming that policing our borders can be done for no money whatsoever, it’s just not serious. It’s going to cost us something whatever it is we do.”