‘If we don’t put this bill forward, there won’t be another bill', says Tory MP Therese Coffey ahead of Rwanda vote

12 December 2023, 10:15

Tory MP Therese Coffey will support the government on the Rwanda plan

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

Therese Coffey tells Nick Ferrari she will support the government on the Rwanda plan.

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Nick Ferrari spoke to Tory MP Therese Coffey as the government has been urged to 'pull' its Rwanda immigration Bill by right-wing MPs in the European Research Group - just 24 hours before it is due to be voted on in parliament.

The former environmental secretary told Nick: "Straightforwardly I'll be supporting the bill tonight and I'm conscious a lot of my colleagues don't think it's perfect at both ends of the political spectrum of the Party.

"But my view strongly is that if we don't put this bill toward there won't be another bill."

Chairman of the opposition group, Mark Francois, said the scheme - which would see asylum seekers arriving in the UK by small boats deported to Rwanda - had "too many holes" as he urged the government to pull the proposed legislation.

"The Government would be best advised to pull the Bill and come up with a revised version that works better than this one," Francois said at a press conference outside Portcullis House in Westminster.

Read more: 'Scrap Rwanda Bill and start again': Tory ERG calls on Sunak to come up with new migrant plan ahead of tomorrow's vote

Ms Coffey continued: "It's been clear we've already had migration bills along the way.

"The Supreme Court had made a decision contradicting, actually, the high court originally.

"But that's the role then of parliament to decide, 'okay, this is what judges have said. We are going to change the law now to make that possible.'"

It comes after the ERG's 'star chamber' of legal experts earlier published a letter to members, stating the Bill needed "significant amendments".

"The Bill overall provides a partial and incomplete solution to the problem of legal challenges in the UK courts being used as stratagems to delay or defeat the removal of illegal migrants to Rwanda," a letter from the group of prominent pro-Brexit MPs states.

The letter, however, does not explicitly state how the group of MPs will vote.

A vote will be held on Tuesday evening in the House of Commons on emergency legislation which the PM hopes will push the bill through.

Read More: Home Office 'bullish' about Rwanda laws but Tory fringe groups sour on Sunak's migration plan

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