London politics latest LIVE: Rishi Sunak says emergency legislation will get Rwanda plan off the ground

London politics latest LIVE: Rishi Sunak says emergency legislation will get Rwanda plan off the ground

Rishi Sunak is facing a Tory revolt after Britain’s top judges shredded the Government’s flagship Rwanda plan as unlawful.

Seven MPs are now said to have submitted letters of no-confidence in Mr Sunak, according to Dame Andrea Jenkyns.

Former Cabinet minister Simon Clarke also warned that how the PM responds to the ruling is a “confidence” issue and there are reports 25 Conservative MPs were meeting to discuss a united response.

At PMQs, Mr Sunak said he would “finalise” a new treaty with Rwanda after the Supreme Court ruling and said “if necessary I’m prepared to revisit our domestic legal frameworks”.

Speaking on Wednesday evening the prime minister said emergency legislation would be introduced to have Rwanda designated a safe country and vowed no foreign court would stop the flights.

Sacked home secretary Suella Braverman weighed in, saying the Government should "introduce emergency legislation" to block the European Convention on Human Rights.

She said: "There is no chance of curbing illegal migration within the current legal framework. We must legislate or admit defeat."

Follow latest updates below

Key developments

  • Supreme Court believes asylum-seekers would be 'at real risk of ill-treatment' in Rwanda

  • 'Not the outcome we wanted' - PM reacts to ruling

  • 'Seven Conservatives to send no-confidence letter to the 1922 Committee'

  • Government 'will finalise new treaty with Rwanda'

Rwanda plan 'will have devastating consequences' says Refugee Council chair

18:19 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said Rishi Sunak's "determination to push ahead with shipping men, women and children off to Rwanda, after they have fled war, terror and persecution in countries such as Afghanistan and Sudan, shows a callous disregard for those who through no fault of their own have lost everything and have come to the UK in search of safety".

“It will have devastating consequences for the wellbeing of those we work with at the Refugee Council, who are already highly distressed, anxious and traumatised, and we fear many people will disappear, facing the risk of abuse and exploitation.

Enver Solomon (PA Archive)
Enver Solomon (PA Archive)

“The Government’s approach goes against the values of compassion, fairness and humanity which as a country we have always sought to stand up for. It should be focusing on creating a functioning asylum system that allows for a fair hearing on UK soil and provides safe routes so people don’t have to take dangerous journeys.”

Priti Patel urges Home Office to take 'necessary steps' to enact Rwanda plan

17:59 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Former home secretary Dame Priti Patel has said in a statement: “I am confident that the plans could have been implemented in (a) way that complied with our own domestic law and our international obligations, and the Supreme Court confirmed that changes could be made to bring it into effect.

“The Home Office must now take the necessary steps to ensure that this policy is implemented as our partnership with Rwanda is the single biggest measure to deter illegal migration into the UK.”

What is the government's 'plan B'?

17:35 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Rishi Sunak is pinning his hopes on soothing the court’s concerns by agreeing a new legally binding treaty with Rwanda.

He wants the deal to bind Rwanda into not sending failed claimants to any other country in order to prevent “refoulement” – removing asylum seekers back to the country where they face persecution.

But it is unclear what legal status people who fail the process will have if they remain in Rwanda, but not as a refugee.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Supreme Court President Lord Reed and his four justices ruled there were “substantial” grounds to believe there was a “real risk” of refugees being returned to their home countries.

Inheriting the Rwanda headache as the new Home Secretary, James Cleverly said that anyone removed to Rwanda could not be “sent to another country than the UK”, but officials made clear they did not anticipate people being returned to Britain.

Elevating the deal from a mere “memorandum of understanding” to a treaty that has been ratified by Parliament could strengthen it in the courts’ minds.

But not a single penny of the £140 million already paid to Rwanda can be clawed back, and the new treaty is expected to end up adding to the cost.

Why was Rwanda policy blocked by courts?

17:29 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Rishi Sunak’s promise to the British public was a straightforward one: he vowed to “stop the boats” as thousands of asylum seekers crossed the Channel without authorisation.

But as crossings continued, that pledge has been complicated by legal challenges arguing that forcibly removing migrants to Rwanda is against their rights and the law.

The Supreme Court delivered the Prime Minister a blow on Wednesday by ruling that his policy was indeed unlawful.

Five of the UK’s most senior justices ruled the scheme could not go ahead as is.

They cited a long list of concerns with Rwanda as they concluded there was a real risk that genuine refugees could be sent back to their country of origin, where they would face “ill-treatment”.

Sunak wants flights by Spring

17:10 , Tom Davidson

Mr Sunak said that ministers want to see flights to Rwanda take off by next spring.

Taking questions from reporters about whether planes would leave before the next general election, he said ministers were “working extremely hard to make sure that we can get a plane off as planned in the spring”.

Sunak defends Lee Anderson

17:09 , Tom Davidson

Mr Sunak defended Lee Anderson after the deputy Tory chairman suggested ministers should “ignore the law”, which is not part of the Prime Minister’s current plans.

He said he “absolutely” shared the “frustrations” of colleagues and people across the country over the situation.

Asked whether he would sack Mr Anderson over the remarks, Mr Sunak told a press conference at Downing Street: “I think what Lee’s comments and indeed the comments of others do is reflect the strength of feeling in the country on this issue.

“And I absolutely share actually in the frustrations that my colleagues and indeed people across the country have about this issue. Everyone should understand the strength of feeling.”

He said that once Parliament endorses his new treaty with Rwanda “my patience has run thin, as indeed the country’s patience has run thin”.

"I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights" - Sunak

16:58 , Tom Davidson

Mr Sunak said that he would not let a “foreign court” block flights to Rwanda, as he took aim at the European Court of Human Rights.

The Prime Minister said he is “prepared to do what is necessary” if the court intervenes “against the expressed wishes” of MPs.

At a press conference, Mr Sunak said: “We must be honest about the fact that even once Parliament has changed the law here at home, we could still face challenges from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

“I told Parliament earlier today that I’m prepared to change our laws and revisit those international relationships to remove the obstacles in our way.

“So let me tell everybody now, I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights.

“If the Strasbourg court chooses to intervene against the expressed wishes of Parliament, I am prepared to do what is necessary to get flights off.

“I will not take the easy way out.

“Because I fundamentally do not believe that anyone thinks the founding aims of the European Convention on Human Rights was to stop a sovereign Parliament removing illegal migrants to a country deemed to be safe in parliamentary statute and binding international law.”

Rwanda is safe - Sunak

16:56 , Tom Davidson

Mr Sunak has announced he will introduce emergency legislation to enable Parliament to “confirm” that “Rwanda is safe” and end a “merry-go-round” of legal challenges.

The Prime Minister said:

“I do not agree with this decision but I respect it and accept it. The rule of law is fundamental to our democracy. We have prepared for all outcomes of this case. And so we have been working on a new international treaty with Rwanda.

“This will provide a guarantee in law that those who are relocated from the UK to Rwanda will be protected against removal from Rwanda and it will make clear that we will bring back anyone if ordered to do so by a court.

“We will finalise this treaty in light of today’s judgment and ratify it without delay.

“But we need to end the merry-go-round. I said I was going to fundamentally change our country, and I meant it. So I’m also announcing today that we will take the extraordinary step of introducing emergency legislation. This will enable Parliament to confirm that with our new treaty, Rwanda is safe.”

'I will do what's necessary to get flights off' - Sunak

16:50 , Tom Davidson

Rishi Sunak: "I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights [of migrants]".

"This government has done more and delivered more than any government in the last five years to tackle illegal immigration", he says.

Emergency legislation incoming on Rwanda - Sunak

16:47 , Tom Davidson

Rishi Sunak says emergency legislation will be introduced in parliament to have Rwanda designated a 'safe country'.

"Stop the boats" podium

16:46 , Tom Davidson

The podium for Rishi Sunak's statement has been revealed and it has a clear message - it says 'Stop the boats' along the front. Rishi Sunak is beginning his news conference.

Suella Braverman says Sunak should introduce 'emergency legislation' to block ECHR

16:12 , Jordan King

Suella Braverman has demanded that Rishi Sunak introduces “emergency legislation” blocking off the European Convention on Human Rights after the Rwanda policy was scuppered by the Supreme Court.

The sacked home secretary wrote: "Today’s Supreme Court judgment is no surprise. It was predicted by a number of people close to the process. Given the current state of the law, there is no reason to criticise the judges. Instead, the government must introduce emergency legislation

"The Bill must block off ECHR, HRA, and other routes of legal challenge. This will give Parliament a clear choice: control illegal migration or explain to the British people why they should accept ever greater numbers of illegal arrivals settling here.

"Those who - like me - believe that effective immigration control is vital must understand that they cannot have their cake and eat it: there is no chance of curbing illegal migration within the current legal framework. We must legislate or admit defeat."

Sunak vows to sign new deal with Rwanda

15:41 , Jordan King

The Government will publish a new treaty with Rwanda in the "coming days" to address the Supreme Court's ruling that a plan to send asylum seekers to the country was unlawful, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman said.

The court unanimously ruled that asylum seekers could not be sent to Rwanda because it could not be considered a safe third country, delivering a blow to the government's pledge to stop people arriving on England's coast in small boats.

"We will lay the treaty in parliament in the coming days so flights can commence as soon as possible," the spokesman told reporters.

"We will provide the reassurances that the court has asked for."

Sir Keir Starmer 'braced for frontbench resignations'

15:26 , Jordan King

Sir Keir Starmer is reportedly set to receive multiple resignation letters from frontbenchers this evening, including from the shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding Jess Phillips, it has been reported.

Labour calls for 'urgent suspension of hostilities' between Israel and Hamas

15:11 , Jordan King

Labour's shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has moved a motion in the chamber for a "urgent suspension of hostilities, not just a short pause".

She said: "As shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has set out, the time and space to get in fuel, food, and water, to rebuild vital humanitarian infrastructure, to protect aid workers who are losing their lives on a scale we have never seen before in conflict.

"To put in place protections for civilians, and to negotiate hostage releases. And to work towards a full cessation of violence, an enduring peace so that lives can be saved and this intolerable suffering can end."

Ms Cooper reiterated Israel's "right to defend itself" but said "how Israel does this matters".

'Ceasefire now' protesers removed from Commons public gallery

15:01 , Jordan King

Protesters have been removed from the House of Commons after holding up "ceasefire now" signs during the King's Speech debate.

A group of five or six people stood up and held aloft the messages as shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper turned to the Israel-Hamas conflict in her speech.

Doorkeepers approached the group and removed them from the public gallery.

Timeline of Rwanda plan leading up to Supreme Court ruling

14:12 , Miriam Burrell

The Supreme Court judgment on the Government’s plans to remov asylum seekers to Rwanda comes more than 18 months after they were first announced.

Legal battles have meant no migrants have been sent to the East African nation under the policy.

Meanwhile, the Channel migrant crisis continues amid much political debate.

Read here for more details on events that led to today's decision.

Demonstrators outside the Royal Courts of Justice (PA Archive)
Demonstrators outside the Royal Courts of Justice (PA Archive)

UN Refugee Agency calls for greater international cooperation

14:07 , Miriam Burrell

The UN Refugee Agency said it welcomes today's judgment by the Supreme Court.

The UNHCR, in its capacity as the UN agency with the mandate to supervise the application of the 1951 Refugee Convention worldwide, advised the Supreme Court on international refugee law.

UNHCR said it has consistently "conveyed our deep concern about the 'externalisation' of asylum obligations and the serious risks it poses for refugees".

"UNHCR also encourages greater cooperation with countries on the key routes along which refugees and migrants are moving, to address the root causes of displacement through peacebuilding and humanitarian and development aid, and to offer real alternatives to dangerous journeys, including through expanded safe and legal pathways."

James Cleverly asked about Palestinians in Gaza

13:55 , Miriam Burrell

MP Anne McLaughlin told the Commons she spoke to a British Palestinian woman whose family members have either died or been traumatised in Gaza.

James Cleverly was asked if her remaining family members attempted to reach the UK, albiet via small boat crossings, would he "look them in the eye" and tell them they have to go to Rwanda.

The Home Secretary said he would not be drawn on making comments on specific individuals.

He said he recognises the pain and suffering of the people in Gaza and the UK has family reconciliation schemes in place.

Sunak thanks Rwanda President for 15 months' work on plan

13:36 , Miriam Burrell

More details have emerged about Rishi Sunak's call with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda this morning following the Supreme Court’s judgement.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “While he welcomed the Court’s confirmation that the principle of sending illegal migrants to a safe third country is lawful, the Prime Minister expressed his disappointment at the overall outcome and recognised that there are challenges we must overcome.

“He thanked President Kagame for his Government’s work over the last 15 months and the extra assurances we have already agreed as they said they would continue to work together to address the Court’s concerns.

“Both leaders reiterated their firm commitment to making our migration partnership work and agreed to take the necessary steps to ensure this is a robust and lawful policy and to stop the boats as soon as possible.”

Asylum seeker waiting years for decision attempted suicide twice

13:31 , Miriam Burrell

An asylum seeker that has been waiting since December 2020 for a decision on their claim has two young children and has tried to take their life twice, MP Chi Onwurah told the House of Commons.

She said the asylum seeker had an interview in November 2022 and they are still waiting for the Home Office to make a decision.

She asked James Cleverly when he will "get a grip" on the backlog.

The new Home Secretary said: "We never claimed that the Rwanda deal was our totality response to this issue.

"We made a commitment to increase decision making and we have demonstrably done that."

 (PRU/AFP via Getty Images)
(PRU/AFP via Getty Images)

PM spoke with Rwandan president after this morning's ruling

13:14 , Jordan King

Rishi Sunak spoke to Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame after the Supreme Court ruling.The Rwandan government previously said it "takes issue with the ruling that it is not a safe third country".

Their statement said: "Rwanda and the UK have been working together to ensure the integration of relocated asylum seekers into Rwandan society.

"Rwanda is committed to its international obligations and we have been recognised by the UNHCR and other international institutions for our exemplary treatment of refugees.

"Throughout this legal process we've been busy continuing to deliver progress for Rwandans and working together with international partners to solve some of the biggest challenges that Africa and the wider world face.

"We take our humanitarian responsibilities seriously and will continue to live up to them."

Proposed new treaty with Rwanda 'to be presented to Commons soon'

13:12 , Jordan King

The proposed new treaty with Rwanda is to be laid in the Commons ‘in coming days,’ according to Whitehall sources, with 21 sitting days for any MP to object, then a minimum of further 21 days before ratification

Boris Johnson urges Rishi Sunak to change the law

13:07 , Jordan King

Boris Johnson has urged Rishi Sunak to change the law to designate Rwanda a "safe" country.

The former prime minister said online there is "only one way to end the legal blockade on Rwanda", as he linked back to an article in the Daily Mail, where he is a paid columnist.

In it, he argues that the Government has the power under the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 to ask Parliament to "deem Rwanda a safe country".

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel speaks

13:06 , Jordan King

Ms Patel congratulated Mr Cleverly on his new role and said ministers have had the opportunity to work on the delivery of the Rwanda policy before today's ruling.

She asked for reassurance that the Government would move forward by working with the Rwandan government to make the plan possible.

Mr Cleverly reiterated his earlier comments that the Government had already started doing this.

Theresa May tells Commons the Supreme Court judgement was not dependent on the ECHR

13:00 , Jordan King

Former Prime Minister and ex-Home Secretary Theresa May stressed the Supreme Court's own point that its judgment was not dependent on the European Convention on Human Rights, after some Tory MPs erroneously claimed that leaving it would allow the Rwanda plan to proceed.

Labour MP warns of 'tyranny' threat from measures being advocated by some Tory MPs

12:58 , Jordan King

Karl Turner, Labour MP for East Hull, responded to right-wing Tory MPs anger over the Supreme Court's ruling.

He quoted Tory Deputy chairman Lee Anderson's comments that the Government should "ignore the laws and send migrants straight back".

Mr Turner said: "The doctrine of the separation of powers requires that the principal institutions of state namely ‘the executive’, ‘the legislature’ and ‘the judiciary’ must be clearly divided so as to safeguard citizens' liberties and guard against tyranny. This government have lost the plot!"

Home Secretary asked how much the Government has spent on Rwanda policy

12:55 , Jordan King

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper began her statement by quipping a congratulations to the "eighth Conservative Home Secretary in eight years".

She went on to criticise the Government's Rwanda policy and quoted former Home Secretary Suella Braverman's scathing letter to Mr Sunak, where she accused the Prime Minister of using "magical thinking" and being "weak".

'Our commitment to end illegal immigration is unwavering'

12:46 , Jordan King

Mr Cleverly said the Government would "do whatever it takes to deliver on our commitment to stop the boats".

In his statement, he said the Supreme Court's ruling was based on information from 15 months ago and added that he is "struck" by the courts' stance on refoulement.

James Cleverly addresses Commons as Home Secretary for the first time

12:44 , Jordan King

We are now hearing from James Cleverly, as he speaks to the Commons for the first time in his new role.

He said Government plans to upgrade the memorandum of understanding with Rwanda to a treaty to “provide certainty” to the Supreme Court that asylum seekers sent there will not be wrongly returned to their home country where their lives may be at risk, or they could face torture or persecution.

Boris Johnson piles more pressure on Rishi Sunak

12:39 , Jordan King

In a callback to his Brexit slogan, the former PM wrote in his Daily Mail column that the Government "must take radical action to get Rwanda done".

He said: "Britain has a proud history of giving sanctuary to those in fear of their lives... but we can't allow the traffickers to keep mocking our immigration system."

PM questioned on David Cameron's 'finest foreign policy achievement'

12:29 , Jordan King

Mr Sunak was sarcastically asked to say what he thought Lord Cameron's "finest foreign policy achievement" was - to the laughter of much of the opposition.

The PM said "there were many to choose from" before saying Lord Cameron UK hosted "what was widely considered to be one of the most successful G8 summits" of recent times.

Earlier, Mr Sunak said Lord Cameron "will help Britain navigate an uncertain world in challenging times".

"Of course, like every other government minister, he will go through the normal process with the independent adviser."

'We need to prepare for a renewed assault on the UK’s membership of the ECHR' - Labour MP

12:23 , Jordan King

Mick Whitley, Labour MP for Birkenhead, tweeted: “The Supreme Court has rightly ruled that the inhumane Rwanda plan is unlawful.

“Now, we need to prepare for a renewed assault on the UK’s membership of the European Court of Human Rights by the Tories.

“The ECHR protects your most basic rights as a citizen. We must defend it.”

Government 'will finalise new treaty with Rwanda'

12:22 , Jordan King

The PM told MPs in the Commons that the Government "has been working on a new treaty with Rwanda" which will be finalised "in light of today's judgment".

He tweeted: "My commitment to stopping the boats is unwavering.

"If necessary, I am prepared to revisit our domestic legal frameworks."

'Braverman may be gone, but the rot is deep set' - Labour MP

12:21 , Jordan King

Bermondsey and Old Southwark Labour MP Neil Coyle said: “Tories tried to act unlawfully - again.

“Braverman may be gone, but the rot is deep set.”

Mr Sunak defends UK's position that 'Israel has a right to defence itself'

12:20 , Jordan King

The PM was questioned on whether the UK would change its position on a call for a ceasefire in Gaza, with one MP asking: "How much worse does it need to get?"

While Mr Sunak agreed that Gaza is undergoing horrific suffering, he repeated the country's official line that it supports Israel's right to defend itself in the face of "an awful terrorist attack".

But he added that Israel "must abide by international law" and said the UK was committed to making sure aid flows into Gaza to "alleviate the suffering".

ECHR 'questionable case law produced by questionable judges' - Tory MP

12:17 , Jordan King

Derbyshire Dales Tory MP Sarah Dines said: “The Rwanda decision by the Supreme Court was sadly predictable.

"Our judges are obliged by Tony Blair’s disastrous Human Rights Act to follow the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, questionable case law produced by questionable judges. We must take back control.”

'Today was a day we delivered on the most important pledge I made' - Rishi Sunak

12:15 , Jordan King

The PM has fought back at Sir Keir's criticism after the Supreme Court's ruling shows the Tories have "wasted time on a gimmick" instead of delivering on their promise to "stop the boats".

He referred to this morning's news that revealed inflation fell to 4.6 per cent, meeting his pledge to halve inflation this year.

Sunak 'has wasted his time on a gimmick'

12:12 , Jordan King

Sir Keir has accused the PM of "wasting his time on a gimmick" and "failed to deliver" his promise to "stop the boats by the end of the year".

Tory Reform Group cautions MPs calling for UK to leave ECHR

12:10 , Jordan King

Tory Reform Group warns: “Conservative MPs calling for the UK to leave the ECHR would do well to actually read the Supreme Court’s judgment - which based the decision on both ECHR and other UN agreements.

"As the party of law and order, we should respect the judgement and independence of the judiciary.”

Sir Keir Starmer blasts Mr Sunak's Rwanda plan

12:08 , Jordan King

Sir Keir Starmer slammed Mr Sunak’s Rwanda plan, saying:  “He bet everything on it…the central pillar of his Government has crumbled beneath him”.

Sunak willing to change laws 'to do whatever it takes'

12:03 , Jordan King

Rishi Sunak floated the idea of new laws to revive his Rwanda deportation scheme after it was branded unlawful in the Supreme Court.

He said he was prepared to revisit “domestic legal framework” and change laws if needed to “stop the boats.”

PMQs have begun

12:02 , Jordan King

Rishi Sunak has started speaking to MPs, follow the most important developments here.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby wants ruling to 'reflect and reconsider its approach'

12:01 , Jordan King

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he hoped the Supreme Court ruling would cause the Government to "reflect and reconsider its approach".

Mr Welby said the Church of England had "been clear in our profound concerns - moral and practical - about outsourcing our obligations to refugees to Rwanda".

He added: "We have been clear that the inefficiencies of our asylum system and its failure to treat all people with compassion and dignity must be addressed. Today's decision by the Supreme Court leaves our response to desperate people fleeing conflict and persecution in a state of limbo. I hope this judgment will give the Government the opportunity to reflect and reconsider its approach."

He called for the "the politics of division" to be set aside and for a "shared sense of purpose - so that we can work with international partners and allies to design an asylum system fit for the growing pressures of the coming century".

He added: "One that is based on fairness, compassion and the God-given dignity of every human being.

"The Church of England continues to call for the 1951 Refugee Convention to be built upon so it can meet the challenges we face today.

"We want to see nations around the world working effectively together and taking their fair share of refugees, without leaving the greatest burdens on the poorest countries. We also continue to call on the Government to develop and publish a 10-year strategy for tackling the refugee crisis and human trafficking."

'Seven Conservatives to send no-confidence letter to the 1922 Committee'

11:59 , Jordan King

Dame Andrea Jenkyns, who blasted the PM over Suella Braverman's resignation, said six other Conservative MPs were joining her in sending a no-confidence letter to the 1922 Committee.

“I’ve wrestled with this, the fact that we could look very stupid toppling another leader, but I think we've got to bite the bullet now,” she told GB News.

'I want to see the PM come out fighting' - Tory MP

11:45 , Jordan King

Tory MP Ben Bradley MP tweeted: “The Rwanda Court judgement this morning is absolutely tone deaf. The public have consistently demanded and voted for tough measures against illegal migration again and again. Other countries are pursuing these schemes. I want to see the PM come out fighting this afternoon!”

Government being urged to 'immediately' start overriding the European Convention on Human Rights

11:40 , Jordan King

The New Conservatives group of Tory MPs is urging the Government to introduce legislation "immediately" to override the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Speaking after a meeting of the group with other Conservatives who share the same view, co-chair Danny Kruger said the Supreme Court judgment felt "absolutely existential" for the party.

Options being suggested by the New Conservatives are a "notwithstanding clause" to disapply the ECHR or initiating complete withdrawal from the ECHR.

He said the scope of the ruling meant that the UK's involvement in other treaties and conventions also needs to be considered.

"The Government should immediately announce an intention to do what is necessary to insist on our sovereignty. That means legislation to over-ride the effect of the European court, of the ECHR itself and of other conventions including the Refugee Convention if necessary."

He added: "If this Government will not step up to do whatever it takes to do what the Prime Minister has promised he will, there is no reason for the public to trust us again."

'Absolutely existential' for Conservatives

11:39 , Jordan King

Tory right-winger Danny Kruger said today's Supreme Court ruling "feels absolutely existential for our party".

'Ignore the laws and send them straight back' - Tory deputy chairman

11:38 , Jordan King

Lee Anderson, who was appointed by Rishi Sunak as Tory deputy chairman, has said: "Put the planes in the air. Ignore the laws and send them straight back."

He described the Supreme Court judgment as a "dark day for the British people".

"I think the British people have been very patient, I've been very patient, and now they're demanding action. And this has sort of forced our hand a little bit now," he said.

"My take is we should just put the planes in the air now and send them to Rwanda and show strength.

"It's time for the Government to show real leadership and send them back, same day."

PM's 'flagship policy has completely failed' - Shadow Home Secretary

11:33 , Jordan King

Yvette Cooper said: “The Prime Minister’s flagship policy has completely failed. This damning judgment on his Rwanda policy, where he has already spent more than £140 million of taxpayers’ money, exposes Rishi Sunak’s failure to get any grip or have any serious plan to tackle dangerous boat crossings, which are undermining border security and putting lives at risk.”

Rwandan government 'takes issue with the ruling that Rwanda is not a safe third country'

11:25 , Jordan King

A Rwandan government spokesman said: "This is ultimately a decision for the UK's judicial system.

"However, we do take issue with the ruling that Rwanda is not a safe third country for asylum seekers and refugees, in terms of refoulement.

"Rwanda and the UK have been working together to ensure the integration of relocated asylum seekers into Rwandan society.

"Rwanda is committed to its international obligations and we have been recognised by the UNHCR and other international institutions for our exemplary treatment of refugees.

"Throughout this legal process we've been busy continuing to deliver progress for Rwandans and working together with international partners to solve some of the biggest challenges that Africa and the wider world face.

"We take our humanitarian responsibilities seriously and will continue to live up to them."

'Confidence issue in the Prime Minister' - Levelling Up Secretary

11:24 , Jordan King

Speaking after the ruling, Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clark said: "It is a confidence issue in the Prime Minister. But I don't want us to go there."

Anger from Tory right-wingers

11:23 , Jordan King

Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clark, a staunch ally of Liz Truss, said the ruling poses a "really serious challenge to who governs Britain".

"The gauntlet is now being thrown down," he said on Sky News, calling it an "existential challenge" and demanding Britain leave the ECHR even though the Supreme Court said the Government was bound by other refugee agreements.

Former minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said on GB News: “Unless we deal with the application of European human rights in the UK, we will not get flights to Rwanda. If we don't get flights to Rwanda, we will not deal with the small boats problem.

“This is a real test for His Majesty's Government and what they need to do, what's in its power to do, is to introduce primary legislation that will override all these obstacles.

“That's the basic constitutional principle of our country, that parliamentary sovereignty means that the highest court in the land is not the Supreme Court, it's the High Court of Parliament.”

Rwanda plan was 'nothing more than state-sanctioned people trafficking' - Labour MP

11:20 , Jordan King

Streatham Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: “The Government’s Rwanda deportation plan was nothing more than state-sanctioned people trafficking. I’m glad that the Supreme Court has today ruled that it is not just immoral and unworkable but illegal.”

Tory MP calls Supreme Court judges 'enemies of the people'

11:15 , Jordan King

Brendan Clarke, MP for Bassetlaw, seemed to imply the Supreme Court judges are "enemies of the people" when he posted a photo of those words with the caption: "We've been here before".

Charities and activists breathe 'huge sigh of relief' at ruling

11:12 , Jordan King

Charity Asylum Aid said it is “delighted” with the decision.

Director Alison Pickup said the Government showed a “complete lack of humanity” with its Rwanda plan.

He said: "There is no evidence that this policy will work as a ‘deterrent’ to people who have no choice but to flee their homes.“Worse, it causes significant anxiety and harm to those already in the UK, living in permanent fear of removal to a country they don’t know.

“We call on the Government to re-evaluate its unworkable policy and to abandon the idea of forcibly removing people seeking asylum to third countries."

A coalition of 129 civil society organisations today signed a joint statement, which welcomes the Supreme Court ruling.

“We know that the fight is far from over,” said Aria Danaparamita, advocacy director at the Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).“It shouldn’t take a Supreme Court ruling for the government to accept that it is grossly inhumane to banish people who come seeking sanctuary here to another country.”

She added: “Our clients, many of whom were already traumatised from making their way to our shores, have lived in constant fear of being sent away to potential abuse, torture, even death.”

Rwanda plan 'just one part of a vehicle of measures to stop the boats' - Home Secretary

11:10 , Jordan King

The new Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “Channel crossings are down compared to last year. We've increased immigration enforcement activity, asylum decisions have tripled since the start of the year and we’ve ramped up returns.

“Our partnership with Rwanda, while bold and ambitious, is just one part of a vehicle of measures to stop the boats and tackle illegal migration.

“But clearly there is an appetite for this concept. Across Europe, illegal migration is increasing, and governments are following our lead – Italy, Germany and Austria are all exploring models similar to our partnership with Rwanda.

“We will carefully review today’s judgment to understand implications and next steps.

“And we will continue to look at every possible avenue to disrupt the vile criminal gangs’ business model of putting innocent lives at risk for their own financial, selfish gain.”

In pictures: Outside the Supreme Court this morning

11:09 , Jordan King

Here are of the scenes outside the Supreme Court as it delivered its ruling on the Government's Rwanda plan.

Toufique Hossain director of public law and immigration at Duncan Lewis Solicitors (centre) leaving the court with his legal team (PA)
Toufique Hossain director of public law and immigration at Duncan Lewis Solicitors (centre) leaving the court with his legal team (PA)
Protesters with 'stop the Tories' posters outside the Supreme Court (AP)
Protesters with 'stop the Tories' posters outside the Supreme Court (AP)
A demonstrator holds a sign urging the Government to 'sort out the backlog of asylum cases' (REUTERS)
A demonstrator holds a sign urging the Government to 'sort out the backlog of asylum cases' (REUTERS)

London Mayor blasts Rwanda policy as 'cruel, callous and unlawful

11:03 , Jordan King

Sadiq Khan reacted to today's ruling when he said: “The Goverment’s Rwanda policy isn’t just cruel, callous & morally reprehensible - the Supreme Court has confirmed it’s unlawful too.

"The fact the Govt came up with the idea of sending people fleeing violence and persecution to a country thousands of miles away is shameful.

"It goes against everything we stand for as a nation. "The Government must now stop playing on people’s fears, treat asylum seekers with dignity, reduce the backlog of asylum claims & work constructively with allies to stop the dangerous people-trafficking gangs."

New Home Secretary will address MPs on ruling during PMQs

11:01 , Jordan King

New Home Secretary James Cleverly will address MPs on the Supreme Court judgment.

He will deliver a Commons statement after Prime Minister's Questions at around 12.30pm.

PM will hold press conference later today

10:59 , Jordan King

Rishi Sunak will hold a Downing Street press conference at 4.45pm to address the Rwanda ruling.

'Not the outcome we wanted' - PM reacts to ruling

10:53 , Jordan King

The Prime Minister has reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling with a statement saying it judgement is "not the outcome we wanted".

He said: “We have seen today’s judgment and will now consider next steps.

"This was not the outcome we wanted, but we have spent the last few months planning for all eventualities and we remain completely committed to stopping the boats.

“Crucially, the Supreme Court – like the Court of Appeal and the High Court before it – has confirmed that the principle of sending illegal migrants to a safe third country for processing is lawful. This confirms the Government’s clear view from the outset.

"Illegal migration destroys lives and costs British taxpayers millions of pounds a year. We need to end it and we will do whatever it takes to do so.

“Because when people know that if they come here illegally, they won’t get to stay then they will stop coming altogether, and we will stop the boats.”

Supreme Court says Rwandan system 'can and will be built up'

10:51 , Jordan King

In explaining that the court's acceptable that the "Rwandan government entered into the agreement in good faith", Lord Reed said "the capacity of the Rwandan system to produce accurate and fair decisions can and will be built up".

But he added: "Nevertheless, asking ourselves whether there were substantial grounds for believing that a real risk of refoulement existed at the relevant time, we have concluded that there were.

"The changes needed to eliminate the risk of refoulement may be delivered in the future, but they have not been shown to be in place now."

Rwanda's history 'cannot be effectively ignored or sidelined'

10:47 , Jordan King

In their ruling, which the other justices agreed with, Lords Reed and Lloyd-Jones said Rwanda's history "cannot be effectively ignored or sidelined" as the Home Office suggested.

The justices said there was "no dispute" that the Rwandan government entered into its deal with the UK in good faith, with strong incentives to follow the terms of the arrangement.

They continued: "Nevertheless, intentions and aspirations do not necessarily correspond to reality: the question is whether they are achievable in practice.

"The central issue in the present case is therefore not the good faith of the government of Rwanda at the political level, but its practical ability to fulfil its assurances, at least in the short term, in the light of the present deficiencies of the Rwandan asylum system.

"In agreement with the Court of Appeal, we consider that the past and the present cannot be effectively ignored or sidelined as the Secretary of State suggests."

Some of the reasons for the Supreme Court's ruling

10:42 , Jordan King

Lord Reed, the President of the Supreme Court, laid out the reasons for the court's decision.

They included concerns about Rwanda having "a poor track record" in human rights.

He cited the UK's 2021 criticism of Rwanda for extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody enforced disappearances and torture.

Lord Reed said there were also worries about Rwanda's compliance with international obligations, the freedom of the media and questions about whether the courts are able to act independently from the government.

Supreme Court believes asylum-seekers would be 'at real risk of ill-treatment' in Rwanda

10:27 , Jordan King

Five justices on the country's top court said Wednesday that asylum-seekers would be "at real risk of ill-treatment" because they could be sent back to their home countries once they were in Rwanda.

The Supreme Court first explained the legal test for deciding whether this policy was lawful.

It is whether there are substantial grounds to believing that asylum-seekers sent to Rwanda will be at real risk of refoulement - the forcible return of refugees to a country where their lives or freedom would be at risk.

The court believes there is substantial grounds to believing this could happen if asylum-seekers are sent to Rwanda.

Supreme Court rules Rwanda policy unlawful

10:17 , Jordan King

The Supreme Court has dismissed the Government's appeal.

What does this ruling mean for the PM?

09:49 , Jordan King

Mr Sunak will want this victory at the Supreme Court to show he has made good on his word - as a promise to "stop the boats" was one of the five key pledges of his premiership.

He will also want to prove Ms Braverman wrong, who said the PM did not take steps which "would better secure us against the possibility of defeat".

Losing this case would also bolster some Tories who want the UK to quit the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

This would put the country in the same camp as Russia (which was expelled after it invaded Ukraine) - something centrist conservatives would be against.

Asylum seekers in the UK felt 'immense relief' after the last Rwanda ruling

09:35 , Jordan King

In June, the Court of Appeal deemed the Government's Rwanda scheme unlawful.

The Standard spoke to several asylum seekers who spoke about what a relief the decision was.

Kenny Mayorga, 25, who had been waiting eight months for a decision on his asylum claim, said: “This decision definitely acknowledges that the UK has an international and legal obligation to assess asylum claims on its own soil in accordance with established legal procedures.”

"This ruling also sends a powerful message to other countries that the rights and wellbeing of asylum seekers must be safeguarded within the borders of the country they seek protection from.

“Seeking asylum is not easy because we don’t ask for this, so it requires compassion, empathy, and respect for human dignity.”

Catch up on where we are in the Rwanda policy process

09:18 , Jordan King

Mr Suank is seeking to overturn a ruling in June that found the plan to send migrants who arrived in Britain without permission to the East African nation was unlawful as Rwanda was not a safe third country.

The Rwanda scheme is the central plank of Mr Sunak's immigration policy as he prepares to face an election next year, amid concern among some voters about the numbers of asylum seekers arriving in small boats on Britain's shores.

This year more than 27,000 people have arrived on the southern English coast without permission, after a record 45,755 were detected in 2022.

Originally launched by one of his predecessors, Boris Johnson, Mr Sunak argues the plan would deter migrants from making the often perilous journey across the Channel from Europe and thus smash the business model of people traffickers.

Victory in the court would allow Mr Sunak the chance to say he is making progress with his plan to "stop the boats" - one of the five key pledges of his premiership.

The ruling has taken on even greater political significance in coming days after he sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a popular figure on his party's right-wing whose remit included dealing with immigration.

She had said it was her "obsession" to see Rwandan deportation flights, and is likely to lead calls from Conservatives lawmakers for Britain to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if the court says the scheme is unlawful.

Asked if the government had an alternative plan, a spokesperson for Sunak said on Tuesday: "We have options for various scenarios as you would expect", but that leaving the ECHR was not discussed by cabinet.

Good morning

09:06 , Jordan King

Good morning and welcome to The Evening Standard's live coverage of a big day in British politics.

We have the Supreme Court's ruling on the Government's Rwanda plan to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda up first, with the judgement set to be handed down between 10am and 10.30am.

After that, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will face his first PMQs since a dramatic Cabinet reshuffle which saw him fire his then-Home Secretary Suella Braverman.