Collective of rightwing Tory MPs say they will not support Rwanda bill | Conservatives #Collective #rightwing #Tory #MPs #support #Rwanda #bill #Conservatives

A collective of rightwing Conservative MPs have announced that they will not support the second reading of Rishi Sunak’s bill that aims to overcome legal obstacles in deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The so-called five families – a loose alliance of five different rightwing Tory groups, who claim to represent more than 100 MPs overall – announced their decision as the Commons continued to debate the bill, which will be voted on at about 7pm. The bulk are expected to abstain.

The groups held a joint impromptu press conference in parliament just before the votes began, illustrating the depth of the potential opposition faced by Sunak.

Mark Francois, representing the European Research Group of MPs, said the plan was that “the bulk” of the MPs would abstain, with the intention that it would pass and then they would seek to amend it at the next stage.

If their wishes were not met, he said, the groups would most likely then vote against the government on the final reading.

Miriam Cates, from the New Conservatives, said: “We agree that the bill is defective as it is. We don’t believe it will stop the boats. There are too many opportunities for legal challenge. We do support the principle of the bill, which is to stop the boats.”

John Hayes, from the Common Sense Group, said: “We will consider what the government does next. And what they do next will determine what we do next, and that means the third reading of bill.”

Losing the vote would be a huge blow to Sunak’s authority, while even a narrow win could indicate significant troubles next year, if rebels seek to amend it during the report stage.

The five groups making the decision were the European Research Group, the New Conservatives, the Common Sense Group, the Northern Research Group, and the Conservative Growth Group.

#Collective #rightwing #Tory #MPs #support #Rwanda #bill #Conservatives

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