Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, found himself caught in the middle of a Tory civil war after his immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, resigned. Jenrick claimed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan for Rwanda was too weak and called for the UK to opt out of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) rules.
Resignation Over ECHR Rejection
Robert Jenrick resigned after Rishi Sunak rejected his demands to opt out of ECHR rules. The Prime Minister was subsequently caught in a Tory civil war, as his immigration minister stepped down.
'Toughest Immigration Legislation Ever'
Despite the internal conflict, Boris Johnson insisted that the emergency measures he announced were the "toughest immigration legislation ever." The new laws will disapply some human rights laws in Rwanda asylum cases, with the hope that British courts will reject any challenges.
Power to Ignore Strasbourg Judges
The proposed bill grants ministers the power to ignore judges from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if they order flights to be grounded. However, the bill does not automatically override the ECHR.
Jenrick's Resignation Statement
In his resignation statement, Robert Jenrick criticized the proposed bill, stating that it was a "triumph of hope over experience." He argued for stronger protections to end the "merry-go-round of legal challenges" that risked paralyzing the scheme. Jenrick refused to be another politician who makes promises on immigration but fails to keep them.
Disagreements and Criticisms
Brexiteer MP Mark Francois expressed concern over Jenrick's resignation, calling it "deeply worrying." There were also fears that the package of laws would not prevent individuals from lodging legal appeals.
PM Hits Back
Boris Johnson responded to Jenrick's resignation, expressing disappointment and stating that they both agreed on the goal of getting flights off to Rwanda to stop illegal migration. He accused Jenrick of misunderstanding the situation and claimed that their experience gave them confidence that the plan would work.
Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned that the Tories faced "electoral oblivion" if Rishi Sunak did not take control of illegal migration. She emphasized that it was a matter of "who governs Britain."
Uncertainty Over ECHR Law
Despite the government's stance, the newly appointed Home Secretary, James Cleverly, could not guarantee that the legislation would not be seen as breaking ECHR law.