Switching PM AGAIN would be 'insanity', warring Tories are warnedDecember 7, 2023
Switching Prime Minister AGAIN would be ‘insanity’, warring Tories are warned as Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill is blasted by both the Left and Right of the party
Warring Tories were last night told it would be ‘insanity’ to attempt to depose Rishi Sunak in the row over his Rwanda policy.
As Tory splits deepened over the Government’s deportation plan, party chairman Richard Holden said it was time for MPs to start ‘fighting the opposition rather than ourselves’.
Tory whips yesterday warned the Prime Minister that he faces rebellions on both flanks of the party over his plan to revive the scheme to send Channel migrants to Rwanda.
Mr Sunak responded by delaying a showdown over the issue to allow tempers to cool following the shock resignation of immigration minister Robert Jenrick.
MPs will vote on Tuesday on the principle of whether to tighten the law in response to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the scheme last month.
But, despite designating the new law as ’emergency legislation’, ministers will not give MPs the chance to debate and vote on potentially divisive amendments until the New Year.
Warring Tories were last night told it would be ‘insanity’ to attempt to depose Rishi Sunak (pictured) in the row over his Rwanda policy
Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman (pictured) said the new law ‘won’t work’, and urged the PM to toughen it by removing the right of deportees to use the European Convention of Human Rights to challenge their removal
Mr Sunak is facing the threat of rebellions from both wings of the party. While some on the Right believe his plan will be ineffective, for Tory moderates it goes too far in overriding the Human Rights Act and using the law to overrule the Supreme Court’s verdict that Rwanda is not a safe place to send asylum seekers.
Fears Rishi Sunak could be forced into snap election as Tory infighting rages on Rwanda plan: Defiant PM calls press conference to insist he CAN get deportation flights going ahead of crunch vote – as allies warn MPs against ‘insane’ leadership challenge
Mr Sunak came out fighting yesterday, insisting that his proposed legislation was ‘not only the right approach, but the only approach’ to get deportation flights off the ground before the next election.
At a hastily arranged press conference in Downing Street, the Prime Minister vowed to ‘finish the job’ and deliver on his pledge to ‘stop the boats’.
Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the new law ‘won’t work’, and urged the PM to toughen it by removing the right of deportees to use the European Convention of Human Rights to challenge their removal.
In a resignation letter on Wednesday, Mr Jenrick said the legislation was a ‘triumph of hope over experience’. But the PM yesterday said Mr Jenrick – once a close ally – was ‘simply not right’. Mr Sunak described the proposals as the ‘toughest legislation ever passed on this issue’ – and predicted that successful legal challenges by individuals would be ‘vanishingly rare’.
Mr Sunak said at a Downing Street press conference: ‘For the people who say ‘you should do something different’, the difference between them and me is an inch, given everything that we have closed. That inch… is the difference between the Rwandans participating in this scheme and not. As the Rwandans themselves have made clear, if we go any further, the entire scheme will collapse.’
The row has triggered speculation that Mr Sunak (pictured) could even face a leadership challenge in the coming weeks
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in 9 Downing Street to outline the new Rwanda legislation
In a resignation letter on Wednesday, Robert Jenrick (pictured) said the legislation was a ‘triumph of hope over experience’
The row has triggered speculation that Mr Sunak could even face a leadership challenge in the coming weeks. A One Nation MP on the Left of the party said: ‘I don’t think it’s fully terminal yet, but he’s certainly in the last chance saloon.’
Tory chairman Mr Holden appealed to MPs to rally behind Mr Sunak. ‘Divided parties don’t win elections,’ he said and, referring to a vote on Mr Sunak’s leadership, he responded: ‘I think it’d be insanity to do that.’
Former solicitor general Lord Edward Garnier, told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that the Bill ‘makes political nonsense and it certainly makes legal nonsense’.
On the other side of the party, veteran Right-winger Sir John Redwood indicated that he would not support the legislation either.
Mr Sunak has split the role of immigration minister after Mr Jenrick’s resignation. Former solicitor general Michael Tomlinson, 46, will be illegal migration minister and will oversee the Rwanda measures and the rest of the package to combat the Channel small boats.
The other new role, legal migration and delivery minister, will be filled by Tom Pursglove, 35, a former Home Office and work and pensions minister. His focus will be cutting net migration after it hit a record 745,000 last year.
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