'It's Not A Great Look, Is It?': Immigration Minister Mocked On BBC Over Tory Civil War

The prime minister is begging right-wing MPs not to vote down his flagship Rwanda bill.
John Kay and Michael Tomlinson on BBC Breakfast
John Kay and Michael Tomlinson on BBC Breakfast

A Tory minister was left squirming on the BBC this morning as Rishi Sunak begs his MPs to back his flagship Rwanda bill.

Around 15 right-wingers - including Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson - trooped into 10 Downing Street for breakfast with the prime minister ahead of a crunch vote in the Commons this evening.

They have warned the PM that he must either toughen up or withdraw his emergency legislation or face a humiliating defeat.

On BBC Breakfast this morning, presenter John Kay laid out the prime minister’s dilemma as he grilled illegal migration minister Michael Tomlinson.

He said: “Even if it squeaks over the line by a few votes tonight, this is Rishi Sunak’s flagship piece of legislation. This is what he’s staked everything on.

“It’s not a great look, is it? He can’t persuade his own MPs.”

But Tomlinson insisted the bill “answers the concerns” of the Supreme Court, which last month ruled that the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda was illegal.

He added: “Look, governing is hard. To govern is to choose. The prime minister has chosen, rightly, that this is the priority, that we must stop the boats.

“There is a moral imperative that people should not take those perilous journeys across the Channel, the busiest shipping lane in the world.”

However, in a separate interview on the Today programme, Tomlinson risked further angering Tory rebels by suggesting it is not “British” to give parliament the power to ignore court rulings, as they are demanding.

He said: “What it is not possible to do is to shut out every single claim, nor is that right.

“It would breach international law and that is not the right thing to do, and it is not the British thing to do - not even in the Second World War did we shut out claims going to court and nor can we and nor should we here.”


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