Inside the Vote on Labour’s Amendment to the Rwanda Bill

Labour’s Defeat and the Crucial Vote

In a crucial parliamentary showdown, Labour’s attempt to block the Safety of Rwanda Bill at its second reading suffered a defeat by 337 votes to 269, setting the stage for the original motion’s decision.

MPs entered divisional lobbies to cast votes, signaling the beginning of a critical deliberation.

Tory Opposition and Divisions

Mark Francois, representing right-wing Conservatives, declared the ERG’s refusal to support the Rwanda Bill, citing ‘omissions’ that led to their collective decision not to endorse it.

Despite planning to abstain from the vote, the group aims to table amendments in the upcoming committee stage in the new year.

Conservative Factions: ‘Five Families’

A breakdown of the Conservative Party’s factions sheds light on differing ideologies:

  • The New Conservatives: Advocates for a hardline approach on immigration, championed by MPs elected in 2019.
  • European Research Group (ERG): Known for its role during Brexit years, led by Mark Francois, with a critical eye on the Rwanda law.
  • Common Sense Group: Informal right-leaning group emphasizing British values and criticizing politically correct ideologies.
  • One Nation Caucus: A moderate wing expressing discomfort with unilateral plans in the bill, particularly concerning human rights.
  • Northern Research Group: Focused on issues impacting Conservative-held seats in the north, particularly concerned about immigration.

Priti Patel’s Appeal and Government’s Stance

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel urged MPs to support the Rwanda Bill, framing the choice as critical in combating illegal migration and collaborating with Rwanda for robust measures.

Amidst divisions, the call for collective action and doing ‘the right thing’ emerged prominently.

Political Maneuvering and Sunak’s Efforts

Rishi Sunak’s attempts to secure votes for the bill intensified, with the Prime Minister engaging in one-on-one meetings to dissuade right-wing opposition.

While signs of Tory rebels wavering emerged, a prediction surfaced that the bill would narrowly pass despite persistent discontent.

SNP Critique and Live Updates

SNP MP Pete Wishart criticized the government’s approach toward Rwanda, highlighting alleged financial negotiations without any deportations and predicting potential repercussions for the Government.

Dramatic Countdown to the Vote

As the clock ticked closer to the 7 pm votes, the tension rose within the Conservative ranks, signaling a potentially precarious moment for the flagship legislation.

The liveblog captured the last-minute efforts and unfolding drama surrounding the impending parliamentary decision.

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