Rishi Sunak puts down rebellion for now over Rwanda plan

LONDON: British PM Rishi Sunak put down an initial right-wing rebellion in his party on Tuesday over legislation to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a victory of sorts that prompted two of his most vocal supporters to resign.
Conservative Party deputy chairmen Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith said they had resigned over government’s lack of willingness to toughen the legislation.The resignations underlined the deep divisions in Sunak’s governing party over legislation he believes is crucial in turning round the Conservatives’ popularity before an election this year.
Some Conservative lawmakers say the legislation, which aims to block asylum seekers bringing further court challenges against their deportations, goes too far and others that it does not go far enough. Government comfortably defeated the rebels’ bid to make two changes to strengthen the law late on Tuesday. But Sunak only won because most opposition parties voted against the rebels.
He faces a showdown on Wednesday, when, unless the legislation is changed, some Conservatives are threatening to vote against government at its final parliamentary stage in House of Commons, the lower house of parliament.
One senior lawmaker said the rebels had the numbers to defeat Sunak in the final vote. “There is zero purpose in putting in place a piece of legislation that doesn’t work,” he said, adding the rebels only needed half of those who backed the amendments to defeat government in the final vote.
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