Home / Lead News / Rwanda Bill faces first of several key tests in Lords

Rwanda Bill faces first of several key tests in Lords

Rishi Sunak’s flagship Rwanda bill is facing its first test as debate gets under way in the House of Lords.

Peers including the Archbishop of Canterbury have criticised the principles of the bill, while the Lib Dems are pushing to kill it entirely.

The move is expected to fail, but peers have indicated they will try to strip out key powers as the bill progresses.

The government’s plan aims to halt legal challenges against sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Last week, peers inflicted a defeat on the scheme when they called for a UK-Rwanda treaty to be delayed until Kigali improves its asylum procedures.

Dozens of Tory MPs had suggested they would be willing to abstain or even vote against the entire bill without fundamental changes.

However, in the event, just 11 MPs voted against it – including former immigration minister Robert Jenrick and former home secretary Suella Braverman.

The votes were a culmination of months of Conservative party infighting and coincided with a poll funded by an anonymous group called Conservative Britain Alliance – which projected Labour was on course for a 120-seat majority.

Tory pollster Lord Hayward has called for the Electoral Commission to look into polls pushed by groups with no credible identifiable “beneficial owner”.