UK: Sunak faces Tory backlash over refugee bill | World and Science

UK: Sunak faces Tory backlash over refugee bill |  World and Science
British Prime Minister Rishi SunakAFP

Published 01/16/2024 15:58

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has faced a backlash from senior lawmakers in his Conservative Party after his plan to send refugees to Rwanda was blocked, a controversial policy the British leader has put at the center of his bid to win elections this year.

To do this, he needs to unite his party, which is lagging far behind the opposition Labor Party in the polls. But the liberal and authoritarian factions of the conservatives are at odds over the Rwanda project.

Moderates fear the policy is too extreme, while many on the party's hard-right think it is not valid enough to prevent migration to the UK.

In a blow to Sunak, two Conservative Party deputy leaders, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, joined calls in the House of Commons to tighten the government's flagship Rwanda bill and announced they would support amendments aimed at closing refugee appeals against deportation.

Some Conservative rebels say they will vote against the bill unless it is strengthened. Together with the opposition's votes, this could be enough to kill the law – a major blow to Sunak's power and dangerous for the Rwanda project. Moderate conservatives fear the bill is already flirting with illegality and say they will oppose it if it becomes draconian.

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