Sunak must call election as Peers vote against Rwanda plan

Peers in the House of Lords have dealt an unexpected blow to the Government's flagship Rwanda plan.

Tonight, in the first vote of its kind, the House of Lords - voting 214 to 171 - has called for the ratification of the new UK-Rwanda treaty to be delayed until the UK Government is able to prove that Rwanda is a safe third country. 

The treaty, signed in December in response to the UK Supreme Court ruling, is central to the Prime Minister's plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, but is separate to the Rwanda Safety Bill. 

The Rwanda Safety Bill itself - which aims to prevent legal challenges to the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda - is due to be debated in the House of Lords next week. The outcome of tonight's vote is a good indication of the level of scrutiny that the Bill will likely face. 

Naomi Smith, Chief Executive of Best for Britain said,

"It is rare for the House of Lords to intervene so resolutely in a Prime Minister's flagship policy and a sure sign that his cruel and costly plan is in trouble.

"Our polling shows that 61% of people want an early general election and now, having lost all authority and unable to deliver on his promises, even Sunak must see it is time to go to the country."

Read our FAQ ‘When is the next UK general election?’ and our explainer on the Government's Rwanda Plan