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Lee Anderson joins Rwanda rebellion

(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

A tough week for Rishi Sunak just got even more difficult. For Lee Anderson, his own deputy party chairman, has tonight gone public to confirm that he will be voting for the rebel amendments on the Safety of Rwanda Bill on Tuesday. The red wall rottweiler took to Twitter/X after 24 hours of speculation about his intentions to confirm simply that:

The Rwanda Bill. I have signed the Cash & Jenrick amendments. I will vote for them.

These amendments seek to disapply international law from the Bill and curtail asylum seekers’ rights to appeal against flights to Kigali. Anderson was joined in his act of defiance shortly thereafter by fellow deputy chairman and close friend Brendan Clarke-Smith who tweeted:

When I was elected in 2019 I promised my constituents we would take back control. I want this legislation to be as strong as possible and therefore I will be supporting the Jenrick/Cash amendments. These are arguments I have consistently made and will continue to make. #Rwanda

A war of words has now broken out between various Tory tribes as they squabble over whether the two MPs obtained permission from Chief Whip Simon Hart to vote for these amendments without the risk of getting the sack. Mr S has enquired with the Whips’ Office; a response will no doubt be coming in due course…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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