As expected, the Commons has backed the Safety of Rwanda Bill at third reading by 320 votes to 276. Just 11 Tory MPs voted against, with the full list below. This afternoon, the noise from the rebels became rather more muffled, with the ‘five families’ of right-wing backbenchers announcing that the majority would be supporting it. The final attempt from former immigration minister Robert Jenrick to toughen the Bill up failed, which was expected too, but 61 Tory MPs did still rebel on his amendment, which aimed to block so-called ‘pyjama injunctions’ from European judges.
In the debate, James Cleverly took care to reassure both sides that the Bill was what they were after. He told the Tory MP Tobias Ellwood that, ‘as drafted, as we intend this Bill to progress, it will comply completely with international law’. He immediately received a complaint from backbencher Bill Cash about this, who wanted more. Cash later said he would be voting against the Bill, saying ‘I don’t believe – to use the Home Secretary’s own words – that this is the toughest immigration legislation that we could produce, nor do I think we’ve done whatever it takes.’
From the rebel side, there wasn’t that much noise, because there were hardly any rebels left. Danny Kruger congratulated the whips on enjoying more success with his colleagues than he had, and said he understood why Tory MPs didn’t want to create the kind of political disruption that a government defeat would create. He added that the party was ‘united’ in its desire to stop the boats.
It hasn’t been a particularly bad-tempered debate today, either, despite the eternal mood in the Tory party. The main points of tension in the lengthy discussions over the course of the afternoon came when Labour’s Stella