Rebel Tories round on PM over failure to enact legislation on deportations

Rishi Sunak is facing demands for emergency legislation to revive the deportation plan after the Supreme Court ruled it was illegal.

Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson even called on the Government to “ignore the laws” and send migrants to Rwanda the same day they arrive in the UK.

The MP said the judgment marked a “dark day for the British people” and urged ministers to “just put the planes in the air now and send them to Rwanda”.

Mr Anderson added: “The British people have been very patient, I’ve been very patient and now they’re demanding action.

“This has sort of forced our hand a little bit now. My take is we should just put the planes in the air now, send them to Rwanda and show strength.

“It’s time for the Government to show real leadership. We should ignore the laws and send them straight back the same day.”

Allies of sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman claim Downing Street repeatedly blocked her attempts to “insure” the Government against legal challenges. Mrs Braverman is said to have proposed plans for UK asylum ­officials to be based in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, to process the claims.

Sources said it could have ­prevented the Rwanda deportation scheme from being grounded over fears around “refoulement”.

This is the practice of sending someone on to another country or returning them to their home nation after their claim is processed.

Delivering the Supreme Court ruling yesterday morning, Lord Reed said the “changes needed to eliminate the risk of refoulement may be delivered in the future, but they have not been shown to be in place now”.

A supporter of Mrs Braverman blasted the Government’s failure to get the flights off the ground, declaring: “The stupidity of this is the predictability of it all.

“Suella repeatedly proposed a plan when she first came in as Home Secretary to have the option to carry out UK asylum offshoring in Rwanda, which would have insured against this loss in the courts. But it was blocked by the magical thinkers in No10.

“They played roulette with the British public and just blindly banked on winning in the court.”

Former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel, who launched the Rwanda scheme in April 2022, also claimed ministers could have addressed issues relating to refoulement prior to the Supreme Court judgment.

She said the ruling is clear but the issue is “not new”, as it was raised earlier this year in the Court of Appeal.

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Dame Priti added: “Ministers have had the opportunity to address some of these measures.”

The former Home Secretary added that the deal with Rwanda was “integral to ­making sure that we can break that model of stopping the evil trade of people smuggling”.

Downing Street said it could take more than 40 sitting days in Parliament for a new treaty with Rwanda to be approved if there are initial objections from MPs.

Explaining the process for a new deal, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “My understanding is that once the treaty has been laid in Parliament, the Government cannot ratify it for 21 sitting days.

“If Parliament objects during that time by agreeing a motion on the floor of the House, there will be a further 21 sitting days before ratification.”

The spokesman said he did not know whether an objection motion could force a vote on the treaty.

Meanwhile, members of the New Conservatives group of red wall MPs are demanding immediate ­legislation that would override the European Convention on Human Rights after holding an emergency meeting yesterday.

Co-chair Danny Kruger said the Supreme Court judgment felt “absolutely existential” for the Tory Party.

He added: “The Government should immediately announce an intention to do what is necessary to insist on our sovereignty.

“That means legislation to ­override the effect of the European court, of the ECHR itself and
of other conventions ­including the Refugee Convention if necessary.”

Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis said there were a range of options the Government could ­consider, including ­forcing the small boats back into French waters in the Channel.

He is pushing for a “notwithstanding amendment” to “disapply all conventions and treaties that we’ve signed up to” that have been “a blocker”.

The representative for Stoke-on-Trent North since 2019 said he would ­support any moves that could “literally push boats back into French ­territorial waters”.

Another Red Wall MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said the decision should be taken in Parliament rather than the courts.

And Sir John Hayes, a close ally of Mrs Braverman, said she had spoken for the “vast majority of law-abiding Britons” in saying “it’s just not right” that the UK cannot get rid of people who enter the country illegally.

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