Tory revolt threatens Rishi’s signature immigration bill
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is leading a group of 60 Tory rebels who threaten to vote against the bill on Wednesday unless it includes an amendment prohibiting asylum-seekers from filing legal appeals against their deportation. Johnson’s group argues it is trying to strengthen the bill. Two Conservative MPs, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, resigned as deputy chairs of the Conservative Party on Tuesday after joining the revolt against Rishi’s legislation.
But Conservative moderates fear the bill may already violate international refugee law and have signaled that they would oppose stronger language.
Sunak also worries that Rwanda will not accept the deal if the amendment is made. The Labour Party will vote against the legislation on principle, so the bill’s only hope for passage is an end to the Tory revolt and Conservatives voting as a united front.
Sunak has made stopping the arrival of “small boats” carrying refugees a central aim of his government. A defeat of such a central plank of his legislation would be disastrous at a time when his party is already expected to be wiped out by Labour in the next general election later this year.