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Therese Coffey: Ex-deputy PM makes Rwanda gaffe in Commons | Politics News


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Therese Coffey appears to have made a geographical gaffe in the Commons as she attempted to attack Labour over its opposition to the government’s Rwanda policy.

Speaking in a debate on Rishi Sunak’s controversial bill, the former deputy prime minister criticised Yvette Cooper for referring to the “Kigali government” in her remarks.

But the Tory MP appeared to think the name of the nation’s capital city was a different country altogether.

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Therese Coffey pets Larry the cat outside 10 Downing Street
Therese Coffey

Ms Coffey told the House she was “somewhat astonished” by the shadow home secretary’s speech, claiming she “can’t even get the name of the country right, talking about the Kigali government”.

She added: “We are talking about Rwanda, you know, a respected country that has recently been president of the Commonwealth.”

Both Ms Cooper and shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock were caught on camera laughing after the slip up, and the ex-minister has been widely mocked on social media.

Ms Coffey later defended herself on X, posting: “Some keyboard snipers moaning that I criticised the opposition for referring to the Kigali government, not the Rwandan government.

“I would not call the French government, the Paris government nor the Scottish government, the Edinburgh government. Why disrespect Rwanda?”

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