'Where Is He?': Yvette Cooper Mocks Tory 'Chaos' As Robert Jenrick Quits Over Rwanda Plan

“This is the desperate dying days of a party ripping itself apart," says Labour frontbencher as departing immigration minister dodges Commons.
Rishi Sunak can only watch as Yvette Cooper tears into his government.
Rishi Sunak can only watch as Yvette Cooper tears into his government.
Parliament TV

Labour’s Yvette Cooper tore into the Conservative Party for “ripping itself apart” amid chaotic scenes in the House of Commons as Rishi Sunak saw a close ally resign over his Rwanda deportation plan.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick quit because proposed legislation to end the political stalemate “does not go far enough” – a major blow to Sunak’s authority since the MP was in charge of the policy.

His exit was finally confirmed after rumours swirled over his departure and Jenrick was absent from the House of Commons as the announcement on the changes was made.

Home secretary James Cleverly initially declined to answer several requests for an explanation on Jenrick’s status – but was then informed that the home office minister, Laura Farris, indicated Jenrick had resigned during a radio interview. Cleverly then confirmed to MPs this was the case.

Cooper, the shadow home secretary, pounced as it was unclear what was happening, and she condemned the “total chaos in the government and in the Conservative Party”.

She went on: “This is the desperate dying days of a party ripping itself apart, clearly totally out of ideas, lost any sense of leadership or direction.

“We’ve got the home secretary making the statement but the rumours are that the immigration minister has resigned. Where is he?

“They’ve got open warfare on their backbenches and the starting gun has fired on their next leadership election, and once again the whole country paying the price for this chaos.”

Watch the full attack below.

The Conservatives on Wednesday unveiled a bill that will let it ignore a part of the country’s human rights law in order to send asylum seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda.

The legislation is part of government plans to overcome a block by the UK Supreme Court on its Rwanda policy. The court ruled last month that the plan was illegal because Rwanda isn’t a safe country for refugees.

Britain and Rwanda have since signed a treaty pledging to strengthen protection for migrants. The UK government says that will allow it to pass a law declaring Rwanda a safe destination.

Cleverly said the safety of rwanda bill “will make absolutely clear in UK law that Rwanda is a safe country”. He urged MPs to pass the legislation, even though it may violate international human rights rules.

The government says the law will allow it to “disapply” sections of UK human rights law when it comes to Rwanda-related asylum claims.

On the first page of the bill, Cleverly states that he can’t guarantee that it’s compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights — but that MPs should approve it anyway. The bill now faces a battle in parliament.


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