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Tory 'Rebels' Face Ridicule After Rwanda Bill Climbdown

Britain's Home Secretary James Cleverly, left, and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta pose for pictures after signing a new treaty in Kigali, Rwanda, in December.
Britain's Home Secretary James Cleverly, left, and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta pose for pictures after signing a new treaty in Kigali, Rwanda, in December.

Britain's Home Secretary James Cleverly, left, and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta pose for pictures after signing a new treaty in Kigali, Rwanda, in December.

The little Conservative rebellion that couldn’t has been mocked online after failing to bruise Rishi Sunak.

There was breathless talk after 60 Tory MPs voted against the Sunak government in an effort to make the Rwanda asylum legislation tougher. It saw two party deputy chairmen quit their party positions in order to vote against the government on amendments, leading to comment the revolt could spell the end for the 15-month-old administration.

But a day later, despite zero changes to the Safety of Rwanda Bill, a decisive rebellion failed to materialise as Sunak’s troubled policy climbed a significantly parliamentary hurdle – sailing through the Commons with a protest from just 11 Tory MPs.

In the hours before the legislation’s third reading, critics of the bill indicated they would reluctantly vote for it despite many on the party’s powerful right-wing thinking it doesn’t go far enough in deterring migration to the UK.

Westminster has become obsessed with the stalled immigration scheme, often thanks to the Tory party in-fighting that has made for powerful headlines.

But the latest merry-go-round has drawn criticism of the long-running saga – particularly since the factionalism has been self-styled as the Tories split into “Five Families”, a reference to organised crime families made famous in films such as The Godfather.

European Research Group (ERG) chair Mark Francois has been among the big thorn in Sunak’s side, but now social media has had quite enough.

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