Right-Wing Tory MPs Tell Rishi Sunak To Scrap Rwanda Bill And Come Back With New Idea

Prime minister warned by European Research Group it is a case of "three strikes and you’re out".
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Rishi Sunak has been told by right-wing Tory MPs to scrap his new Rwanda deportation legislation before it has even been voted on.

In a stark warning for the prime minister, he was told by the European Research Group (ERG) on Monday it was a case of “three strikes and you’re out”.

MPs are due to vote on Tuesday on a bill which the prime minister has said will overcome legal challenges to his policy of sending people seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda instead.

But Conservative MPs from different wings of the party have not yet decided whether to support it, raising the possibly of a humiliating defeat for Sunak.

On Monday morning MPs from ERG met in parliament to discuss what position to take.

Legal advice from lawyers acting for the group - published this afternoon - heavily criticised the legislation as being “partial and incomplete” .

It concluded the bill would still allow the courts to block people being removed from the country and did not go “far enough”.

Mark Francois, the chairman of the ERG, told reporters in Westminster the government should go away and come back with a new plan.

“The government would be best advised to pull the bill,” he said. “And to come up with a revised version that works better than this one which has so many holes in it.”

While Francois said a decision on how his group would vote has not yet been taken, the government should take “hints” from his comments.

The veteran backbencher added: “This is kind of three strikes and you’re, out isn’t it.”

However the prime minister also faces a rebellion from the other wing of his party, with more moderate MPs voicing concerns the bill might already be going too far, putting the UK at odds with its human rights commitments.

It means Downing Street could be stuck in an impasse between the two groups.

In an attempt to win over backbenchers, No.10 said this morning it would take the unusual step of publishing a “summery” of its internal legal advice on the new law.

The PM has made the Rwanda policy a key part of his promise “stop the boats” in the run-up to the next election.

It would take only 29 Tory MPs to vote against the plan for Sunak to lose the vote.

Defeat could go as far as to imperial Sunak’s premiership and there is talk in Westminster of yet another Tory leadership challenge.


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