Lloyd Evans Lloyd Evans

Rishi Sunak has nothing to lose anymore

Credit: Parliament TV

Both leaders seemed pretty chipper at PMQs. With an election likely this year, Rishi Sunak has nothing to lose and Sir Keir Starmer has everything to gain. He opened with a dig at Sunak’s plan to ‘stop the boats’ which, he alleged, the PM had never truly believed in. Sir Keir lamented that ‘the Rwanda gimmick’ has already swallowed £400 million without a single migrant being removed. 

Sunak responded with some interesting footwork. He reduced the problem to ‘Albania’ and said that the number of Albanian applicants had fallen by 93 per cent. Then, with a deft shimmy, he added that Australia had used this method to prevent migrants arriving by boat. He failed to tell us how many Albanians mariners had sailed south to claim asylum in Australia before the route was choked off. None obviously. But this will be Sunak’s tactic for in the election. Talk about Albania, mention a drop of 93 per cent, and then cite Australia’s success in solving the crisis. Today he added that ‘50 migrant hotels’ have been closed but he didn’t say how many new ones had been opened. His approach, though flimsy, is superior to Sir Keir’s which is to repeat the words ‘smash the gangs’ and ‘process the claims.’ He seems to enjoy this knuckle-duster approach. ‘Smash the gangs?’ he said with a Jason Statham swagger. ‘I spent five years of my life doing just that.’ It may transpire that the only way to stop the boats is to put the RMT in charge of the channel.

It may transpire that the only way to stop the boats is to put the RMT in charge of the channel

The SNP’s Stephen Flynn seized on the Post Office scandal as an opportunity to kill off Westminster altogether. ‘A plague on this house!’ he thundered. ‘The sub-postmasters never stood a chance against the Westminster establishment, did they?’ he roared.

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