A relieved Rishi Sunak has taken to Twitter to issue a rallying cry after his Rwanda Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 313 votes to 269. Writing on X, formerly Twitter, the Prime Minister said: “The British people should decide who gets to come to this country – not criminal gangs or foreign courts.
“That’s what this Bill delivers. We will now work to make it law so that we can get flights going to Rwanda and stop the boats.”
The division list showed no Conservative MPs voted against giving the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill a second reading. There were 38 Conservative MPs listed as having no vote recorded, although this does not automatically equate to an abstention.
The division list released by the Commons authorities listed 307 Tory MPs as voting for the Bill along with five independent MPs, including Peter Bone (Wellingborough). The number is one short of the 313 announced in the chamber, but updates to the list can occur.
There have been occasions where an MP’s vote has not registered on the pass reader system and they are added to the relevant list later – moving from the no vote recorded column.
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Robert Jenrick says he won’t vote for Rwanda immigration bill
Home Secretary James Cleverly said “Parliament has spoken” after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak won a crunch vote in the Commons over his emergency Rwanda legislation. In a post to X, formerly Twitter, Mr Cleverly said: “Parliament has spoken.
“We must be able to choose who comes to our country – not criminal gangs. That’s what this Bill will deliver.”
Despite voting to support the Bill, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith warned he could always rescind his backing at a later date. He said: “We always reserve the right to do what we have to do when we think it doesn’t work, my personal view is I want to see the Government listen and engage.
“Right now this was a very difficult Bill to get through, very contentious, it was the toughest bit of legislation concerning people’s rights, in terms of asylum seekers, that we’ve seen, and that’s because the crisis is big and many people are dying in the channel. It’s happening all over Europe – France is in defiance of the European court, sending people back.”
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He continued: “Denmark passed legislation to send people back, Sweden is doing the same, Germany is in turmoil, Italy is talking about defying the court – this is not just the UK. It’s part of the problem that all around Europe we’re facing, so this is the issue here on our island and we have to resolve it, otherwise it creates chaos.”
He said there were divisions in the Conservative Party: “Of course there are divisions, but these divisions are about big issues and I think what the public want is a result at the end of this. They want something done – we made a pledge, Rishi Sunak made a pledge, to stop the boats, and we want to deliver it.”
Asked about Robert Jenrick resigning because he believed it it would not stop the boats, he said: “Well if you have five lawyers, you have 55 opinions.” He added: “The Supreme Court made it very clear, they said once the Parliament makes clear their position in this then they will fall in line.”
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