Rwanda Bill wrangling continues as peers inflict fresh Government defeat

Defiant peers have maintained their stand-off over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s controversial Rwanda deportation plan, inflicting a fresh defeat.

Despite MPs overturning previous changes, the House of Lords pressed a demand by 258 votes to 233, majority 25, that the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill has “due regard” for international and key domestic laws, including human rights and modern slavery legislation.

The latest Government setback means a continuation of the wrangling at Westminster over the proposed law that aims to clear the way to send asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats on a one-way flight to Kigali.

The Bill and a treaty with Rwanda are intended to prevent further legal challenges to the stalled asylum scheme after the Supreme Court ruled the plan was unlawful.

As well as compelling judges to regard the east African country as safe, it would also give ministers the power to ignore emergency injunctions.

The Lords’ insistence on the amendment ensures a third round of “ping-pong” over the Bill, where legislation is batted between the two Houses until agreement is reached.

Ahead of the next election, Mr Sunak has made “stopping the boats” a key pledge of his leadership.

Earlier, a Number 10 spokeswoman said: “We remain focused on getting the Bill passed as soon as possible so we can get flights off the ground and break the business model of the criminal gangs.”

She added: “The Prime Minister’s message to parliamentarians across both Houses hasn’t changed.

“We need to act to save lives and that’s what this Bill will help us to do.”

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