Tory civil war erupts as Sunak considers plan to end ECHR jurisdiction

More than 45,000 migrants crossed Channel to UK in 2022

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A Tory civil war has erupted after it emerged that the Prime Minister is considering withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) to prevent foreign judges in a Strasbourg court from vetoing British laws. The proposal has been welcomed by many on the right of the party who think it will allow the UK to finally end the migrant crisis, but liberal Conservatives have also threatened to rebel., was told that Suella Braverman accepted the appointment of Home Secretary on the condition that she could “do what was necessary” to tackle the illegal migration crisis which saw 45,000 cross the Channel on small boats last year.

As a former Attorney General, she has been a proponent of ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, especially after an unidetified judge blocked the policy to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda.

According to the Sunday Times, a source close to Mr Sunak said: “If this legislation gets onto the statute book and is found to be lawful by our domestic courts, but it is still being held up in Strasbourg, then we know the problem is not our legislation or our courts. If that’s the case, then of course he will be willing to reconsider whether being part of the ECHR is in the U.K.’s long-term interests.”

But Tories on the left of the party have vented their fury at the suggestion.

In one Whatsapp group, Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price, a former civil servant, reportedly told colleagues that the government should stop “willy waving” .

According to Politico, she added that if it wants to pick a fight with the ECHR, “it can do it without me.”

In a message in the Home Group of Tory MPs, she declared: “I have been a member of the Conservative Party for 36 years. This group leaves me cold. Upholding the law should never be a matter for debate for a Conservative. Our Home Office is crap. If the government wants to have a phone[y] war over the ECHR instead of sorting itself out it can do it without me.”

Ruislip MP David Simmonds claimed that “the ECHR is not the issue here. By pretending it is, we are setting ourselves up for a fall as a UK court will take the same line.”

Alicia Kearns, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs select Committee, added: “We cannot tackle asylum claims when we haven’t given ourselves the legal grounding on coming here illegally.”

Southend West MP Anna Firth claimed Doyle-Price was “bang on the money” about the ECHR “rabbit hole.”

But the move has been welcomed by members of the Common Sense Group and many Brexiteers who believe Brexit cannot be completed until the UK withdraws from the ECHR.

Stoke North MP Jonathan Gullis, who has proposed the government putting down legislation to allow it to ignore decisions by the ECHR, told “Let’s hope he [the Prime Minister] is brave enough to do so.”

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said: “The main thing for me is to stop the boats. If they can do that without leaving the ECHR then fine, but if not then it needs doing regardless. We also can’t afford to sit around waiting for courts and endless appeals.”

Another Red Wall MP strongly supported the idea of leaving the ECHR admitted to being a “doubting Thomas” over whether Mr Sunak would go through with the necessary changes.

Meanwhile members of the influential rightwing Common Sense Group have been in talks with the Government to bring forward the Immigration Bill to allow for the rapid deportation of illegal migrants.

It is hoped that the Bill will be published this week ahead of recess next week.

A senior member of the group told “The government needs to get on the front foot with this issue and push through the legislation as quickly as possible. We cannot have any more delays.

“We are hopeful that the measures in the Bill will be quite tough in tackling this issue.”


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