Jenrick ‘fundamentally misunderstood’ Rwanda bill, says Sunak

Robert Jenrick’s resignation from the Government was based on a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the Rwanda bill, Rishi Sunak has suggested.

The former immigration minister had called for a hardline version of the emergency legislation that would have removed the right of judicial review, and included “notwithstanding clauses” to allow ministers to ignore the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In his resignation letter, Mr Jenrick said the legislation fell short of the Prime Minister’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to stop small boats crossing the Channel and could be paralysed by legal battles.

He wrote: “I am unable to take the currently proposed legislation through the Commons as I do not believe it provides us with the best possible chance of success.

“A Bill of the kind you are proposing is a triumph of hope over experience.

“The stakes for the country are too high for us not to pursue the stronger protections required to end the merry-go-round of legal challenges which risk paralysing the scheme and negating its intended deterrent.”

Mr Sunak defended the bill in his reply to the former minister, writing: “Your resignation is disappointing given we both agree on the ends, getting flights off to Rwanda so that we can stop the boats.

“I fear that your departure is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. It is our experience that gives us confidence that this will work.”


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