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Stop ‘mad’ plotting against Sunak and back Rwanda plan, Tory rebels warned

Conservative MPs have been warned not to use the deepening crisis over the Rwanda Bill to launch a “mad and malicious” attempt to replace Rishi Sunak as the leader of the party. A small group...

Conservative MPs have been warned not to use the deepening crisis over the Rwanda Bill to launch a “mad and malicious” attempt to replace Rishi Sunak as the leader of the party. A small group of anti-Sunak MPs, playfully referred to as the “pasta plotters”, met at an Italian restaurant to strategize against the Tory leader. However, Mr. Sunak’s allies dismissed the idea of trying to force a new leadership contest as “silly” and self-defeating.

A Weak Bill and Revolt

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick accused Mr. Sunak of backing a “weak” bill that fails to fulfill its purpose. Right-wing Tories also concluded that the proposed legislation is not fit for purpose, with some MPs vowing to vote against the prime minister in January. However, Mr. Sunak’s allies argue that it would be unwise for MPs to vote against the bill and that doing so would have dire consequences.

Concerns and Opposition

Sir Bill Cash, chairing a legal examination of the bill, expressed doubts about its effectiveness. Mark Francois, chair of the European Research Group, invited members of various groups to discuss the next course of action. Meanwhile, Mr. Jenrick stated that he would not support the legislation in parliament and suggested that he may abstain from the vote. He also warned that symbolic flights would not appease voters' concerns.

Divisions and Challenges

Government ministers are divided in their opinions on the bill. Cabinet minister Mr. Gove defended the legislation, calling it “tough and robust”, but also claimed that the government would “take seriously” the views of rebels like Sir Bill. MP Ms. Braverman expressed her concerns about the bill, stating that it leaves the government open to injunctions. She also criticized Mr. Sunak’s claim that a tougher bill would jeopardize the deal with Rwanda.

Leadership Speculations

Some unnamed Tory MPs have expressed their desire to remove Mr. Sunak as leader, with some even proposing the return of Boris Johnson. However, Damian Green, chair of the moderate One Nation wing of the party, warned against attempts to exploit the Rwanda issue to oust Mr. Sunak. He stated that anyone seeking a change of prime minister at this critical time is misguided. The One Nation group, comprising around 100 MPs, is set to meet to deliver its verdict.

Conclusion

The controversy surrounding the Rwanda Bill has exposed divisions within the Conservative Party. While some MPs oppose the bill and question Mr. Sunak's leadership, others believe that it is necessary and that voting against it would be ill-advised. As the first vote approaches, the fate of the bill and its impact on both the party and the country remain uncertain.

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