In an interview with LBC, Chris Philp, the Home Office minister, claimed that Rishi Sunak was in a better position in the light of the Rwanda bill getting a third reading. Asked if Sunak was “stronger or weaker” after the passing of the Bill but the departure of two Tory deputy chairs and a ministerial aide, Philp replied:
I think to the extent it has any impact on that, probably stronger.
Good morning. Rishi Sunak is holding a press conference this morning. A note alerting political journalists was sent out by No 10 relatively late last night and, as will be the case every time we get a surprise announcement like this in 2024, one kneejerk lobby response was, ‘Is he going to call an election?’ The answer is no. The best evidence for this is probably the latest YouGov polling in the Times today, showing Labour 27 points ahead (but the steer from No 10 says the same).
Instead, we are expecting Sunak to talk about the Rwanda bill, which cleared the Commons last night by a comfortable margin as the Tory “rebels” largely abandoned their protest and accepted the argument that a “weak” Rwanda bill (in their opinion) was better than no bill at all, the sinking of Sunak’s premiership and a probable early election.
There were big revolts on the rebel Tory amendments, but after two days of debates Sunak emerged looking stronger than the “five family” leaders who were threatening. to take the bill down. These are from the Scotsman’s Alexander Brown on their apparent capitulation and on Lee Anderson, who resigned as Tory deputy chair on Tuesday, releasing a letter expressing his “100% support” for Sunak almost exactly at the same time as he was voting against the government, but who on Wednesday abstained on the third reading.
The Rwanda bill now goes to the House of Lords, and Sunak is expeced to argue that peers should pass it quickly, without obstructing the will of the House of Commons. Chris Philp, a Home Office minister, was doing an interview round this morning, and he said he expected the bill to pass through the Lords swiftly. He told Times Radio:
It’s a pretty short bill, which means it should be able to get through the House of Lords fairly fast.
Here is the agenda for the day.
Morning: Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in Downing Street.
10am: Peter Sewell, a former manager from Fujitsu, working on the Post Office account, gives evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry.
10.30am: Penny Mordaunt, leader of the Commons, takes questions on next week’s Commons business.
11.30am: No 10 holds a lobby briefing.
After 11.30am: MPs debate the order banning the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir
Noon: Humza Yousaf takes first minister’s questions at Holyrood.
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