Top Conservative Quits Over Governor’s Deportation Rule Not Being Good Enough

( – The administration of U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has suffered a blow to its ranks following the resignation of two deputy chairmen who gave up their roles over what they felt was a lax approach by Sunak to cutting immigration into the country.

The two deputy party chairmen, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, have resigned over what they and a significant number of other conservative Tories believe to be the inadequate strictness of Sunak’s Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill. The bill was drafted in response to a U.K. Supreme Court decision that ruled that it was illegal under international law to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. The U.K. is among several European nations that have seen a sharp increase in migrants attempting to enter the country, who often smuggle themselves into the country from France in small boats.

The resignation of the two top officials also signals a break in Sunak’s hold on the party, leading to 60 conservatives voting for right-wing amendments to Sunak’s Rwanda bill, ostensibly to impose stricter immigration rules.

“I can’t be in a position to vote for something I don’t believe in,” Anderson said after voting for the amendments. He added that he “fundamentally disagreed” with Sunak’s bill, which led him to resign.

The amendments include barriers for appeals for asylum seekers who have been denied and need to be deported to Rwanda and rules that stipulate that U.K. and international law cannot be used to delay a deportation back to Rwanda. The amendments were ultimately blocked when members of the opposition Labour Party voted against them.

The ministers of parliament are set to vote on the bill soon, with 12 Tories already saying that they would vote against it. However, the breakaway faction will need a total of 29 votes against Sunak’s bill to successfully tank it. News outlet The Guardian reports that sources within the House of Commons say that while Sunak’s leadership of the party has weakened, he still has the numbers he needs to pass the Rwanda bill.

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