Sunak’s Political Whirlpool: Rivals Circle Amidst Rwanda Flagship Failures
Rishi Sunak faces a defining showdown with his own Party MPs over his flagship Rwanda asylum policy, in a battle that may determine the fate of his lacklustre premiership.
On Monday, Sunak suffered a massive 60-strong Conservative rebellion over proposed amendments to the Rwanda Bill, which aims to deport illegal migrants to the African nation.
Wednesday may well see the end of Sunak…
Rebel MPs insist the legislation requires strengthening to survive legal challenges and deliver on the Tory’s promise to curb illegal Channel crossings.
The scale of mutiny exceeded expectations, delivering a hammer blow to Sunak’s authority. Two Tory deputy chairs resigned from government ahead of voting against Sunak’s position.
Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, dramatically resigned in defiance of the government whip on the flagship Bill. Jane Stevenson, a ministerial aide to Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch, also submitted her resignation after supporting the hostile amendments in crucial votes this evening.
The amendments, aiming to disapply international law and restrict the rights of asylum seekers to appeal against their deportation, received support from 60 rebel Tories. The magnitude of the rebellion surpassed many expectations, with former senior ministers Suella Braverman, Liz Truss, and Robert Jenrick among the mutineers.
Furious MPs insist they are ‘not f***ing around’ and have threatened to scuttle the flagship legislation tomorrow, potentially throwing the government into crisis.
Some concerned Tories cautioned that the party was on the verge of ‘mass suicide’ with just months remaining until a general election.
That would be catastrophic for Sunak. Stopping the small boats was a central plank of his pitch for Downing Street. Losing the legislation would leave his leadership holed below the waterline.
However, many would argue that the Tories have nothing to lose. If the apocalyptic poll analysis is correct the Tories are in for a hiding to nowhere come the next election, particularly if they keep the unpopular Sunak as leader.
The fact is if Sunak mishandles the Rwanda crisis, triggering the policy’s collapse, calls for change may become deafening. Many Tories believe only toughening the flawed legislation can neutralise the threat of Nigel Farage’s Reform UK at the next election.
Sunak is trapped between alienating the right-wing by backing down, or moderates by doubling down.
With the third reading of the Rwanda Bill this week, Sunak contends with both parliamentary revolt and circling sharks of potential successors.
Smelling blood in the water, potential successors circle.
Like the plot of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the Tories are cursed to turn on each other in their lust for power…
Sunak lacks the cut-through to win back voters drifting to Farage. If Rwanda fails, the Prime Minister owns the defeat. But if he compromises, he appears weak. His strategy is faltering, but pivoting risks looking desperate.
With guns blazing from all sides Sunak couldn’t doge a single bullet let alone the ones fired by former prime minister Boris Johnson who used the social media platform X to retweet an article by a rightwing Tory rebel, Simon Clarke, who was describing the bill as a “flawed measure” and warning he would not support it if it was amended.
“This bill must be as legally robust as possible – and the right course is to adopt the amendments,” Johnson commented.
The unmistakable stench of a mortally wounded leader now permeates the Commons’ corridors. As Sunak’s popularity plunges, intrigue and opportunism thrive in the shadows.
Rivals plot and conspire to unseat the faltering PM, seduced by visions of power. Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch openly flaunt leadership aspirations, scorning Sunak’s Rwanda policy as weak boosting their standing on the right. The political sharks circle, awaiting the right moment to strike.
With the sands of Sunak’s premiership fast expiring, for the right wing, urgency grows. A swift, cold coup now could resurrect Tory fortunes before the election. But such Byzantine machinations could also collapse the house of cards entirely.
In these tense, volatile end days, trusted allies become turncoats overnight. Sunak’s feeble grip elicits more daggers than devotion. The political sands continuously shift as schemers angle for advantage in the looming reckoning.
With the polling apocalyptic. Only clear, decisive leadership can avert this drift towards the proverbial iceberg waiting to sink the Tories, and good riddance too!
Meanwhile, Starmer watches apprehensively, hopeful yet anxious at the possible outcomes. For Labour, the Tory turmoil brings both opportunity and peril. Tory infighting benefits Starmer despite his own unpopularity. Yet a Tory revival could swiftly reverse Labour’s fortunes. Labour must offer a real ideological difference, not just more shades of Blue.
Indeed, British politics risks becoming a race to the bottom, a contest of the lesser evil. with Labour refusing to give people valid reasons to vote for them, other than they are not the Tories, we can only hope this next election will be one of strong ‘New Parties’ or sound electable ‘Independents’ that can collectively break the status quo, mainstream Parties have failed.
Sunak stares into a whirlpool that may swallow his premiership. If the Rwanda fiasco triggers a leadership contest, the demands for change will crescendo. Rivals are ready. For Sunak, the hill of Rwanda may soon become a cliff edge.