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Rishi Sunak appeals directly to Tory supporters for backing on Rwanda plan as his MPs threaten to torpedo it

Rishi Sunak appeals directly to Tory supporters for backing on Rwanda plan as his MPs threaten to torpedo it

Rishi Sunak appealed directly to Tory supporters for backing on his flagship Rwanda immigration plan as his own MPs threatened to torpedo it.

An email was sent out from the Prime Minister outlining the new treaty his Government had signed with Rwanda and “emergency legislation” to stop the courts thwarting his controversial proposals.

The move came as he faced fierce battles to persuade Conservative MPs on both wings of his party not to vote against his plan.

He stressed that his blueprint would confirm that Rwanda is safe for asylum seekers who arrive in the UK by “small boats”.

It would also, he argued, prevent courts from second guessing that assessment, and in potentially the most controversial move disapply some sections of the Human Rights Act that have “prevented removals to Rwanda”.

Vowing to end the “legal merry-go-round,” he added: “Not everyone in Westminster likes this approach.

“Too many politicians want to duck this issue.

“But we know it’s a priority for you. So will you let Westminster know that you back our laws and want immigration under control?”

However, even if he succeeded in getting a wave of support from Tory backers, it was far from clear that he could get his MPs to fall into line.

When the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill is debated in the Commons next Tuesday, Tory Right-wingers may seek to beef it up by calling for it to effectively override the European Convention on Human Rights, something which ex-immigration minister Robert Jenrick and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman have advocated.

Some are also concerned that the legislation does not go far enough to limit individual court cases to avoid deportation.

But Mr Sunak may face a bigger threat from the 100-strong One Nation group of Tory parliamentarians, some of who are aghast at the proposals.

The MPs and peers in the Centre and Left of the party are being given legal advice by former Solicitor General Lord Garnier who delivering a scathing verdict.

The Supreme Court ruled just weeks ago that the Government’s Rwanda policy was unlawful given the risk that some asylum seekers sent there could be deported to the country they originally fled, even if there was a risk of torture or even death.

Mr Sunak’s “emergency legislation” seeks to address this issue by declaring that Rwanda is a safe destination for asylum seekers from the UK, accompanied with some other changes.

But, vowing not to vote for it, Lord Garnier said: “It’s trying to define things when there is no evidence for that being the case. It’s rather like a bill that has decided that all dogs are cats.”

Legal migration minister Tom Pursglove was unable to offer a timetable for when the Rwanda legislation would get through Parliament.

It also emerged last night that the bill for the Rwanda scheme had already hit £240 million, despite no asylum seekers being sent to the East African country, and was expected to go up by a further £50 million next year.

Labour branded the revelation “incredible”, with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper saying: “How many more blank cheques will Rishi Sunak write before the Tories come clean about this scheme being a total farce?

“Britain simply can’t afford more of this costly chaos from the Conservatives.”