Rishi Sunak Faces Backlash Over Rwanda Plan Amidst Rising Channel Migrant Arrivals

Channel Migrant Arrivals Add Pressure to Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Bill

As Rishi Sunak prepares for the final stages of his Rwanda Bill in the House of Commons, the political atmosphere is charged with drama and uncertainty.

The arrival of more Channel migrants, escorted by Border Force officials at Dover, coincides with a pivotal moment for Sunak’s legislative agenda.

Facing threats of rebellion from within his own party, the Prime Minister aims to push the crucial legislation through its last Commons stages, despite the risk of government collapse.

Tory Revolt Challenges Sunak’s Authority

A significant blow hit Sunak’s authority as 60 Conservative members joined a revolt aimed at strengthening the Rwanda Bill.

The revolt included resignations from two party deputy chairs and a ministerial aide, posing a serious challenge to Sunak’s flagship policy.

However, the amendments proposed by the rebels faced a major obstacle as they lacked support from the Labour party.

Risk of Government Collapse Looms

The rebellion sets the stage for a tense third reading – the final hurdle in the Commons. Downing Street signals Sunak’s determination to face down the right-wing challenge, opting not to make the vote a formal confidence issue.

While some rebels openly oppose the legislation, the majority are expected to stop short of triggering an all-out crisis.

Overturning the government’s majority would require approximately 28 MPs voting against or a combination of abstentions.

Internal Party Fractures Amplify Concerns

Internal party divisions intensify as furious Tories label the rebels ‘not very bright.’ Former No10 communications director Guto Harri describes them as ‘narcissists’ pushing for ‘mass suicide’ months before a general election.

The rebellion, the largest in Sunak’s leadership, prompts intervention from former PM Boris Johnson, urging rebels to adopt amendments for legal robustness.

Warnings Against Tightening Legislation Further

Downing Street defends the proposed legislation, asserting it as the ‘toughest ever,’ cautioning against further tightening that may risk breaking international law.

Despite claims of legality and efficiency, rebels push for amendments, with 60 MPs voting for measures such as disapplying human rights laws related to deportations.

Stark Warnings and Last-Minute Efforts

Warnings from prominent figures like Mark Francois and Tory elections chief Isaac Levido highlight the risk of defeat if infighting persists.

The Rwanda scheme, blocked by the Supreme Court in November, faces renewed challenges with the new legislation. While the legislation declares Rwanda a safe country, it does not prevent individual appeals, a point of contention for rebel MPs.

Crunch Vote Looms Amidst Resignations and Appeals

Tory whips work to reduce the rebel number, but concerns linger over a potential government loss if a significant number of Tory MPs abstain. Some rebels suggest voting down the entire Rwanda Bill unless the Government concedes to amendments.

The internal turmoil comes just 24 hours after Levido’s warning to unite the party.

The legislation’s fate hangs in the balance as MPs prepare for a crunch vote, with some expressing readiness to vote against the Bill.

The Business Secretary privately urges No 10 to strengthen the legislation, emphasizing the need for robust measures to address the ongoing illegal immigration crisis.

In the debate, immigration minister Michael Tomlinson calls for unity, emphasizing the government’s determination to stop illegal boat crossings.

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