Group of conservative Tory MPs declare their opposition to the Rwanda legislation

A group of rightwing Conservative MPs, known as the so-called five families, have dealt a blow to Rishi Sunak ahead of the vote on the second reading of his bill on Tuesday night. The bill aims to address legal obstacles in deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The five families, comprising various rightwing Tory groups, claim to represent over 100 MPs collectively. As the Commons continued to debate the bill, a majority of the MPs are expected to abstain from supporting the second reading.

Prior to the votes, the five groups held an impromptu press conference in parliament, highlighting the potential opposition faced by Sunak.

Mark Francois, representing the European Research Group, announced that the plan was for the majority of MPs to abstain, allowing the bill to pass. They would then seek to amend it in the next stage. If their demands were not met, the groups would likely vote against the government on the final reading.

Miriam Cates, from the New Conservatives, affirmed that they found the bill to be flawed and unlikely to effectively deter asylum seekers arriving by boat due to numerous legal challenges. However, they do support the bill’s principle of stopping the boats.

John Hayes, from the Common Sense Group, stated that their next actions would depend on the government’s response and the outcome would determine their stance during the third reading of the bill.

A defeat in the vote would severely undermine Sunak’s authority, while even a narrow victory could indicate future troubles if rebels attempt to amend the bill during the report stage.

The five groups involved in the decision are the European Research Group, the New Conservatives, the Common Sense Group, the Northern Research Group, and the Conservative Growth Group.

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