Downing Street Says Lords Will Lack 'Compassion' If They Don't Pass The Rwanda Bill

The incendiary claim was made as peers prepare to vote again on the controversial legislation.
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Members of the House of Lords will be lacking in “compassion” if they fail to pass the government’s Rwanda Bill, according to Downing Street.

The incendiary claim by Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman came as peers prepare to vote again on the controversial legislation.

MPs last night overturned 10 amendments which were previously made to the Safety of Rwanda Bill by the House of Lords.

The bill will return to the Lords tomorrow night, when the government is expected to suffer another series of defeats as its opponents try to scupper the PM’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Africa this spring.

But the PM’s spokesman said: “Lords have an opportunity to work with the government to pass a bill that will stop people from making the perilous journey across the Channel.

“Sitting back and doing nothing is not an option and it’s certainly not a compassionate one.”

He added: “The elected chamber passed the bill last night and the prime minister would urge the House of Lords to work with the government in order to pass the bill.”

Britain and Rwanda signed a deal almost two years ago that would see migrants who cross the English Channel in small boats sent to the East African country, where they would remain permanently.

So far, no migrant has been sent to Rwanda under the agreement after the scheme became bogged down in legal difficulties.

Sunak hopes his bill will finally end the deadlock and enable him to meet his pledge to “stop the boats”.

The PM says deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda will deter people from making risky journeys and break the business model of people-smuggling gangs.

A report by the IPPR think tank warned that the scheme will end up costing the UK billions of pounds.


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