A meeting of dozens of Tory MPs from the right of the party tonight has set out the conditions Rishi Sunak must meet to potentially avoid a challenge to his leadership.
The European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Brexiteers met with representatives of the Common Sense Group and New Conservatives to thrash out conditions on the emergency legislation due to be tabled in days to allow deportation flights to go ahead.
A Supreme Court ruling last month had prevented the flights from going ahead and derailed the Government’s attempts to end illegal migration. The meeting decided to refer the draft legislation when it is tabled to a Star Chamber of lawyers chaired by veteran Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash.
The ERG and others have asked the Star Chamber to decide “whether the Bill fully respects Parliamentary sovereignty, with unambiguous wording which would facilitate flights to Rwanda.”
The star chamber will review the Bill “within days not weeks” to allow MPs to decide whether they can support it or not.
ERG Chairman, Mark Francois, said: “Our ERG Meeting this evening, which also included members of the New Conservatives and the Common Sense Group, resolved to refer the Rwanda Bill, as soon as it is published, to the “Star Chamber” of legal experts, chaired by Sir Bill Cash.”
But there was unhappiness about the way the government has acted. One source told Express.co.uk: “Today has been bedlam. It is clear that the government were trying to bounce us into supporting the Bill by publishing it tomorrow (Wednesday).
“It looks like it has been delayed until next week but we need time to consider the details.”