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Rwanda Bill Vote Will Not Be Treated As A Confidence Vote-PM Sunak


Speaking at a press conference regarding his contentious Rwanda immigration bill (see 1047GMT bullet), PM Rishi Sunak is asked whether next week's vote in the House of Commons will be treated as a confidence vote. The PM implies that he does not see it as such, meaning that Conservative MPs will not be stripped of the party whip should they vote against or abstain on the bill.

  • This essentially gives a free pass to two separate wings of the party to vote against the legislation. The hard-line right-wing MPs informally headed by former Home Secretary Suella Braverman (who argue the bill does not go far enough in deterring illegal migration), and more moderate MPs (for example former PM Theresa May) who have raised concerns about the impact of the bill on areas such as modern slavery legislation.
  • Sunak's Conservatives command a 56-seat working majority in the Commons, but even with this buffer the PM could face a damaging defeat, which in turn would raise speculation about a potential leadership challenge.

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