Rishi Sunak Launches Charm Offensive on Tory Rebels as Rwanda Bill Faces Scrutiny

Rishi Sunak Launches Charm Offensive on Tory Rebels as Rwanda Bill Faces Scrutiny

PM Rishi Sunak seeks to win over skeptical MPs

Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, has initiated a charm offensive with Tory rebels as they prepare to scrutinize his controversial Rwanda Bill. A "Star Chamber" of legal experts convened by right-wing MPs is expected to deliver a scathing verdict on the emergency legislation, particularly regarding the ability of migrants to lodge individual claims. Insiders warn that this could lead to removal attempts being delayed in the courts.

Allies of the PM reach out to skeptical backbenchers

Ahead of the first vote on Tuesday, allies of Rishi Sunak are working to win over skeptical backbenchers. New immigration ministers Michael Tomlinson and Tom Pursglove are focusing their efforts on their old colleagues on the Conservative right, along with Will Tanner, a top aide in No10. Despite concerns, Sunak is reportedly "confident" that the Rwanda Bill will pass the first Commons test, where MPs vote on the principle of the legislation.

Tory civil war erupts over the Rwanda Bill

The resignation of Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has sparked a Tory civil war over the Rwanda Bill. Jenrick claimed that the legislation was too weak to ensure the success of the plan. While the Bill disallows certain elements of the Human Rights Act, it does not completely overrule it, which has been a point of contention for MPs like Suella Braverman. Some backbenchers may abstain from voting, but most are expected to support the Bill initially and then push for amendments later.

Legal panel to deliver a make-or-break verdict

Sir Bill Cash, a Tory grandee, is chairing the legal panel known as the Star Chamber. Their assessment of the Rwanda Bill will be crucial in determining its fate. MPs are eagerly awaiting their verdict, with some indicating that they will base their decision on the panel's assessment. The make-or-break verdict is expected to be delivered in the coming days.

Possible amendments and concerns from One Nation caucus

Tom Pursglove has suggested that the Rwanda Bill could be amended ahead of the final Commons vote after Christmas. However, government sources have downplayed the idea of making any changes, as they believe that going either harder or softer on the legislation would not be effective. There are also concerns that the One Nation caucus of Tory centrists may attempt to water down the bill.

Defending the additional funding for Rwanda

Ministers have faced criticism for providing Rwanda with an additional £150 million in funding, despite no migrants being removed. However, they argue that this amount is small compared to the significant costs associated with the asylum system. The UK has already sent £140 million to Kigali since the initial deal last year, bringing the total bill to £290 million.