Sunak faces Cabinet revolt after threatening to quit ECHR if Rwanda flights are blocked

10 April 2024, 23:32

Sunak is facing a Cabinet revolt over his threat to quit the ECHR
Sunak is facing a Cabinet revolt over his threat to quit the ECHR. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Rishi Sunak is facing a Cabinet revolt after he threatened to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) should flights to Rwanda continue to be blocked.

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At least 12 Cabinet ministers are opposed to Britain leaving the ECHR, The Times reports, including key Sunak allies Jeremy Hunt and James Cleverly.

Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, Christ Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, are also opposed to the move.

Those who oppose leaving the ECHR outnumber those who support leaving it by two to one, it is understood.

Earlier today, Sunak said “enough is enough” as he vowed to ignore the ECHR if it were to block flights taking off to Rwanda.

Rishi Sunak on LBC this morning
Rishi Sunak on LBC this morning. Picture: 10 Downing Street

When he took over from Liz Truss in 2022, Sunak made it one of his missions to small boat crossings across the English Channel, which are at record highs.

One of his key policies to 'stop the boats' include sending illegal migrants to Rwanda.

Read More: From Israel & Rwanda to shoplifting and swastikas - a nervous Rishi Sunak covered it all with no notes

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“I have been very clear that I won’t let a foreign court block our ability to put people on planes and send them to Rwanda,” Mr Sunak told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on Wednesday morning.

“We are reasonable people trying to do a reasonable thing.

“I’ve come at this very reasonably. We’ve worked hard, we’ve got the numbers down, we’ve done everything right, we’ve passed new laws through Parliament, we’ve addressed everyone’s concerns, but at this point enough is enough.”

Watch again: Rishi Sunak joined Nick Ferrari | 10/04/24

Asked by Nick if leaving the ECHR could be in the Tory general election manifesto, the Prime Minister told LBC: “I am not going to get into the manifesto.

“I can be very clear, and I have been repeatedly, that I am determined to see this policy through because I think it is really important for the country, for the security of our borders, for fairness.”