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Fresh Blow For Rishi Sunak As House Of Lords Inflicts 5 More Defeats On Rwanda Bill

The House of Lords has inflicted more defeats on the government's Rwanda plan.
The House of Lords has inflicted more defeats on the government's Rwanda plan. AP

The House of Lords has inflicted another five defeats on the government’s Rwanda bill.

It means peers have defied Rishi Sunak to amend his flagship legislation 10 times this week.

The government will call on MPs to vote to overturn the amendments when the Safety of Rwanda Bill returns to the House of Commons later this month.

The five defeats tonight included moves to prevent modern slavery victims being deported to Africa against their will, and restoring the ability of the courts to decide whether Rwanda is a safe country.

On Monday night, the Lords voted to ensure the legislation is fully compliant with domestic and international law.

Dick Newby, the Lib Dem leader in the Lords, said: “Time after time, this Bill has been proved to be deeply flawed, yet this Conservative Government continues to promote a policy that frankly is unworkable.

“We are calling for Sunak and Cleverly to seriously consider the changes this House has called for. It is far too dangerous to ignore these amendments because lives are at stake.

“The Government should now accept that the policy is fatally flawed and will do little to solve the sky high asylum backlog.”

The Safety of Rwanda Bill is designed to overcome legal challenges to past attempts to send asylum seekers with a one-way ticket to the east African country.

The bill would compel judges to regard Rwanda as safe, and give ministers the power to ignore emergency injunctions.

The policy is central to the prime minister’s hopes of convincing voters he can “stop the boats” crossing the English channel.

The government hopes once the bill passes flights will be able to take off by the spring, but that timetable now looks in disarray.

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