Rishi Sunak accused of 'willy-waving' over threat to scrap European human rights rules in a bid to deport migrants

6 February 2023, 11:35 | Updated: 6 February 2023, 12:27

Rishi Sunak has been accused of 'willy waving' over his threats to withdraw the UK from European human rights regulations, making it easier to remove migrants from the UK.
Rishi Sunak has been accused of 'willy waving' over his threats to withdraw the UK from European human rights regulations, making it easier to remove migrants from the UK. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

Rishi Sunak has been accused of "willy waving" by fellow Tory MPs over threats to withdraw the UK from European human rights rules in order to make it easier to deport migrants.

Conservative backbenchers reportedly raised concerns after the Prime Minister considered removing the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

It follows the news politics website Politico obtained Tory WhatsApp messages which saw backbenchers question the proposed move by Sunak.

According to one particular Tory chat on the popular messaging app, Jackie Doyle-Price, Conservative MP for Thurrock, said: "willy-waving about leaving the ECHR will do zilch".

At one point on the group, the MP was even seen to declare: "Our Home Office is crap".

Jackie Doyle-Price was seen to criticise the PM's proposed move
Jackie Doyle-Price was seen to criticise the PM's proposed move. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The ECHR is regularly used to oppose the deportation of migrants and was set up after the Second World War by a number of politicians, including then PM Sir Winston Churchill.

Doyle-Price added: "This group leaves me cold. Upholding the law should never be a matter for debate for a Conservative.

Read more: Sunak 'prepares to pull UK out of ECHR' amid warning 65,000 migrants could attempt Channel crossing this year

Read more: Liz Truss blames 'left-wing economic establishment' for No10 exit, despite plunging UK economy into chaos

"Our Home Office is crap. If the government wants to have a phone[y] war over the ECHR instead of sorting itself out it can do it without me."

It followed the news migrant numbers crossing the Channel could reach 65,000 in 2023, an increase of more than 50 per cent from 2022's figure of 45,000.

According to the Whatsapp chat, one particular message penned by Jackie Doyle-Price, the MP for Thurrock, said: "willy-waving about leaving the ECHR will do zilch".
According to the Whatsapp chat, one particular message penned by Jackie Doyle-Price, the MP for Thurrock, said: "willy-waving about leaving the ECHR will do zilch". Picture: LBC / Alamy

Mr Sunak has already outlined the Government's intentions to automatically bar migrants from claiming asylum as part of his recent five point plan, which included his aim to "stop the boats".

The new measures currently being drafted up look set to contrast the ECHU rules, stripping back migrants' ability to launch judicial reviews or appeals following a decision.

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