Tory MPs warn Rishi Sunak they DO have numbers to defeat his Rwanda Bill & claim it needs ‘major surgery’

REBEL Tory MPs have warned Rishi Sunak they have the numbers to defeat his emergency Rwanda bill in the Commons tomorrow.

Right-wingers say the new deportation law is too weak and full of loopholes and they will not back it without “major surgery”.

Rishi Sunak has been warned of a rebellion big enough to crush his Rwanda plan


Rishi Sunak has been warned of a rebellion big enough to crush his Rwanda planCredit: Getty
Rebel ringleader Mark Francois (left) said the Bill was full of holes


Rebel ringleader Mark Francois (left) said the Bill was full of holesCredit: Alamy

But left-wing Conservatives last night said they would only vote for the bill tomorrow evening as long as it is not hardened later down the parliamentary process.

No10 last night insisted the vote would go ahead tomorrow, despite growing calls to withdraw the legislation and return in the New Year with a beefed up version.

More than 40 right-wingers were last night weighing up whether to abstain and seek to amend the bill at a later date, or strike it out today.

There are growing fears amongst the right that “its now or never” according to one leading MP.

It would be the first time since 1986 that a new law was defeated at the Second Reading stage – when MPs vote on the principle of the new bill for the first time.

Tonight a spokesman for the right-wing rebels said: “More than 40 colleagues met tonight to discuss the bill.

“Every member of that discussion said the bill needs major surgery or replacement and they will be making that plain in the morning to the PM at breakfast and over the next 24 hours.”

A “Star Chamber” of lawyers acting for hardliner MPs said the legislation was a “partial and incomplete solution” to stopping future removals being thwarted in the courts.

Rebel ringleader Mark Francois urged Mr Sunak to “pull” the Bill and “start again” because there were “so many holes”.

He said: “I very much hope that rather than plough on and damn the torpedoes, the Government will listen, exercise common sense, pull the legislation and come back with something that is fit for purpose”.

A source said “representations are being made by every conceivable means” for Mr Sunak to pull the bill.

But Damian Green, Chair of moderate One Nation group said: “We have real concerns and urge the Government to stand firm against any amendments that would make it unacceptable.

Last night the moderate Attorney General Victoria Prentis told the One Nation group the government has gone “as far as it can”.

And she risked inflaming tensions with the right by boasting that she and moderate Justice Secretary Alex Chalk were backing the bill from the ministerial ranks while ex-Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick had quit to oppose it.

She claimed that pointed to the moderates having won out over their concerns the bill would break international law.

The right’s major concerns lie with the fact that the bill will still allow small boat crossers to individually appeal their deportation to Rwanda.

But Downing Street hit back yesterday by publishing their legal advice which makes clear not doing so would be breaking international law would be “alien to the UK’s constitutional tradition of liberty and justice”.

No 10 are adamant any toughening would see Rwanda pull out of the flagship removal scheme and spell curtains for the plan.

A Tory civil war broke out following the resignation of Mr Jenrick, who said the legislation needed to be hardened.

While it disapplies elements of the Human Rights Act, it does not completely overrule it and also the European Convention on Human Rights MPs like ex-Home Sec Suella Braverman wanted.

It sets up make-or-break 24 hours for Mr Sunak who has staked his premiership on salvaging the policy and getting flights off the ground.


Mr Sunak needs to stop 28 MPs rebelling, or 56 abstaining, as that would torpedo the plan.

Leading rebel Mark Francois said yesterday “the Bill provides a partial and incomplete solution to the problem of legal challenges in the UK courts being used as stratagems to delay and defeat the removal of illegal migrants to Rwanda.”

New Conservatives leader Danny Kruger added: “The decision for all of us is whether there’s the possibility of improving the Bill so it does meet the expectations we all have.”

They cited legal opinion that claimed “very significant amendments” to the legislation are needed to make it watertight and get planes off to Rwanda.

It added: “The Prime Minister may well be right when he claims that this is the ‘toughest piece of migration legislation ever put forward by a UK Government’, but we do not believe that it goes far enough to deliver the policy as intended.”

Meanwhile Nigel Farage branded Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill “an absolute cop out” and a “total joke” as he urged Tory MPs to vote it down.

The right-wing big beast and I’m a Celeb finalist said the PM is “out of his depth”, adding “I very much hope the plan goes under.”

And he claimed if he was a Tory MP that “believed in keeping the election promises made in four successive General Elections” he “would vote against my leader.”

In a chilling warning to the government, the former UKIP and Brexit Party boss, predicted: “The Conservative Party are heading for electoral catastrophe” after letting down voters “like a cheap pair of braces.”

Cost of migrants could hit £11BILLION a year


THE ANNUAL cost of housing small boat migrants will quadruple to £11billion within three years if crossings continue, ministers have warned.

It came as the Home Office’s top mandarin admitted ministers will hand Rwanda even more cash on top of the £290million already set for the African country.

Downing Street yesterday published the government’s legal advice on the Rwanda scheme in a bid to squash a growing Tory rebellion.

It pointed to modelling showing taxpayers are on the hook for eye-watering sums well beyond the current £8million for migrant hotels if the problem is not cracked.

The paper said: “The government estimates that if illegal immigration goes unaddressed, the costs of asylum accommodation alone could increase to £32million per day by 2026 – equivalent to £11 billion per year.”

“The government therefore needs to use all the powers at its disposal to prevent and deter unlawful migration.”

Meanwhile Home Office chief Sir Matthew Rycroft said money will be handed over for further instalments with the deal is set to end in 2027.

He said: “There is a fourth year and fifth year cost which I am not at liberty to disclose but when the time comes it will be disclosed as well.”

The revelation came as he gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on why the costs had sky-rocketed but hadn’t been disclosed until late last week.

But Rwanda could even walk away from the migration deal with the UK and keep the money – even if it doesn’t accept any asylum seekers, MPs have been told.

The revelation came at an evidence session from the Home Office top mandarin Sir Matthew Rycroft as there is a “break clause” in the deal.
Both sides can walk away from the deal with three month’s notice which was first signed in April last year.

He said  if the UK instigates the break clause, Rwanda would keep the money already paid.  But he said: “There is a presumption that the UK Government will want to continue with the partnership, bearing in mind its importance in the overall efforts to stop the boats.”

He also said there still wasn’t a “deterrent effect” by setting up the scheme as Whitehall sources insisted that was because it wasn’t up and running yet.  

Sir Matthew said if Rwanda broke the terms they would repay the cash  “proportionately”.  He added it would “depend on the circumstances” if they could take the cash without taking an asylum seeker.

The  cost  to deal with illegal migration and small boats has no upper limit, MPs have been told.

The Home Office’s most senior civil servant Sir Matthew Rycroft  explained there are too many “variables”.

Officials denied writing blank cheques on the issue – the majority being accommodation dealing with asylum –  but would be decided the matter on an annual basis.

Sir Matthew added:  “The payment to Rwanda that is a significant amount of money is dwarfed by the amount of money we are spending on accommodation.”


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