Victoria Atkins was left squirming by Phillips' critique.
The prime minister has pledged to introduce “emergency legislation” too address the judges’ concerns about the policy.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reports today the government is planning to give the Rwandan government another £15 million to secure a new immigration treaty between the two countries.
Phillips told her: “The only person who seems to be on their way to Rwanda at the moment actually is the home secretary, James Cleverly. There’s no asylum seekers going there any time soon.
″When he was here, he told me they were going to introduce emergency legislation urgently to make it possible to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing and that was weeks ago.
″It can’t be that much of an emergency because we haven’t seen the legislation.”
Atkins replied: “We are very much working across government on this. It will take a little bit of time to draw up this legislation because we want to make sure it’s in the right form.”
Asked if the legislation would be ready by Christmas, she would only say: “I know that the home secretary is working incredibly hard and quickly on this.”
When will the 'emergency legislation' that would send asylum seekers to Rwanda' will be passed?@VictoriaMAtkins avoids confirming a timeline and adds that 'I know that the Home Secretary is working incredibly hard and quickly on this'.https://t.co/PAiZ4D1jU3
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/uVdhIncv7l
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 3, 2023
Sunak is under huge pressure from his backbenchers to get flights to Rwanda off the ground to give him a chance of meeting his pledge to “stop the boats” carrying asylum seekers across the Channel.
But the cabinet is split over whether the new legislation should give the government the right to ignore rulings under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act.