Rishi Sunak has suffered another major blow to his authority.
Around 60 of the prime minister’s own backbenchers defied party whips to vote for amendments to his flagship bill, which is aimed at getting deportation flights to the east African country off the ground.
Although none of the proposed changes to the Safety of Rwanda Bill were passed by the Commons, the scale of the rebellion is a huge blow to the prime minister’s authority.
Among those who defied the Tory whip to back the amendments were deputy party chairs Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, who both resigned their posts in order to do so.
An amendment tabled by veteran Conservative backbencher Bill Cash, which would have allowed the government to defy international law over the Rwanda policy, was defeated by 529 votes to 68.
A second amendment in the name of former immigration minister Robert Jenrick, which would have made it harder for those facing deportation to appeal, was also defeated by 525 votes to 58.
If only half of tonight’s Tory rebels vote with opposition parties against the full bill when it comes back to the Commons tomorrow, it will be killed and Sunak’s premiership will be in tatters.