Suella Braverman Criticizes Sunak's 'Fatally Flawed' Rwanda Plan, Refuses to Rule Out Leadership Challenge

Former Home Secretary Braverman threatens to challenge Sunak's leadership over 'flawed' Rwanda plan, as Conservatives face mounting pressure to curb illegal migration.

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Shivani Chauhan
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Suella Braverman Criticizes Sunak's 'Fatally Flawed' Rwanda Plan, Refuses to Rule Out Leadership Challenge

Suella Braverman Criticizes Sunak's 'Fatally Flawed' Rwanda Plan, Refuses to Rule Out Leadership Challenge

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has declined to dismiss backing a challenge to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's leadership if his 'fatally flawed' Rwanda plan fails to stop migrant boats. Braverman expressed concerns about the direction the Conservative Party is taking under Sunak and cited current polls suggesting the party is heading for defeat in the next general election.

Braverman believes Sunak's Rwanda Bill has "too many gaps" and will not achieve its stated goal of stopping the boats. She has been urging the Prime Minister to change course, calling for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, impose a cap on overall legal migration numbers, and take a more robust approach to law enforcement and public safety.

While Braverman said she "fully anticipates" Sunak to lead the party into the next election, she did not rule out supporting a leadership challenge against him. The former home secretary's comments come as Sunak admitted that the government's plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda will not meet its Spring deadline, with the first flights now expected in 10-12 weeks.

Why this matters: The Conservative Party is facing mounting pressure to deliver on its pledge to curb illegal migration, with the Rwanda plan seen as a key part of this strategy. Braverman's criticism and the potential for a leadership challenge highlight the internal divisions and challenges Sunak faces in uniting his party and improving its electoral prospects.

Sunak spoke to the nation, stating that the government is determined to push through the Rwanda plan "come what may" and that Parliament will vote on the legislation tonight, despite opposition from the House of Lords. The government has voted down Lords amendments to the bill, including measures to prevent Afghans who assisted British forces from being removed to Rwanda and to ensure Rwanda is declared safe before deportations begin.

The ongoing debate in Parliament over the Rwanda Bill underscores the challenges in addressing the issue of illegal migration and the use of unseaworthy boats by criminal gangs. As the bill continues to face delays and opposition, more than 18,000 asylum seekers threatened with being sent to Rwanda are now having their cases handled in the UK instead.

Key Takeaways

  • Braverman may back challenge to Sunak's leadership if Rwanda plan fails
  • Braverman criticizes Sunak's 'fatally flawed' Rwanda plan, urges tougher approach
  • Sunak admits Rwanda plan will miss Spring deadline, first flights in 10-12 weeks
  • Conservative Party faces pressure to curb illegal migration, Rwanda plan a key strategy
  • Parliament votes on Rwanda Bill despite opposition, over 18,000 cases handled in UK