The latest updates on UK politics: Robert Jenrick steps down due to immigration policy, as documented in real time.
Robert Jenrick resigned shortly after the prime minister introduced a bill to preserve the policy of deporting individuals to Rwanda.
After the law prevented ministers from disregarding international laws, he resigned from his position. This has prevented the government from transferring asylum seekers to central Africa.
Jenrick’s departure may be interpreted as a strategic move to establish himself as the leader of a developing conservative uprising, with the goal of securing the ability for the UK to independently authorize flights to Kigali.
The immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, has resigned shortly after the prime minister proposed a bill to uphold the deportation policy for Rwanda. His resignation came after the bill did not allow ministers to override international laws that have prevented the government from deporting asylum seekers to central Africa. Jenrick, who was appointed in October 2022, stated that the emergency legislation introduced to reinstate the Rwanda policy had “aligned with his stance,” but he believed the bill was “a hopeful attempt that disregarded past experiences.” Rishi Sunak has expressed disappointment in Jenrick’s resignation, stating in a letter that he believes it was due to a “misunderstanding of the situation.”
Earlier, the government released urgent laws designed to strengthen its asylum policy for Rwanda after the Supreme Court declared it illegal last month. During a session in the House of Commons, the home secretary, James Cleverly, stated that the legislation will prevent future legal disputes regarding deportation flights. However, in his resignation letter, Jenrick expressed that the proposed law does not adequately address the issue.
The official statement from Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Rwanda, confirms the information previously shared by Rishi Sunak with Conservative Members of Parliament. The statement emphasizes the importance of meeting international legal standards in regards to the deportation agreement between Rwanda and the UK, which would have disallowed the application of the European convention on human rights.
In his testimony to the Covid inquiry, Boris Johnson dismissed the notion that he kept Matt Hancock as health secretary as a potential scapegoat for the inquiry. He also expressed remorse for the hardships and struggles endured during the pandemic.
Johnson denied remembering being informed during a Cobra meeting on February 26, 2020 that there was a growing possibility of mass fatalities. He also expressed remorse for previously dismissing long Covid as “nonsense” and comparable to “Gulf War syndrome”.
I am concerned that your departure is due to a misinterpretation of the situation in Rwanda and I believe it is important to stop the boats. Our past experiences give us assurance that this plan will be effective.
The return agreement we negotiated with Albania, which you played a key role in securing, has resulted in a 90% decrease in Albanian arrivals.
“This [Rwanda] bill is the toughest piece of illegal migration legislation ever put forward by a UK government. It makes clear that Parliament deems Rwanda safe and no court can second guess that…
Removing the courts completely would result in the scheme falling apart. The Rwandan government has stated that they will not approve of the UK using legislation that goes against our international legal obligations. Passing a law that leaves us with no options for where to send people would be pointless.
Rishi Sunak – here.
In July 2019, Boris Johnson assumed his position as the leader of the government.
However, his tenure as a member of the cabinet was marred by controversy as he was fired amid a series of prominent and damaging allegations. This came after he was found to have given improper approval for a housing development by a Conservative party donor and questionable travel decisions made during the lockdown period.
Despite public backlash, Johnson continued to support Jenrick’s decision to approve Richard Desmond’s Westferry Printworks project, which consisted of 1,500 homes in east London. The approval was granted just one day before a new council levy would have resulted in an additional cost of £40 million for Desmond’s company. However, Jenrick was forced to overturn his own decision after admitting that it was “unlawful” and influenced by “apparent bias”.
Jenrick received backlash for traveling 150 miles from his London residence to his home in Herefordshire, and then making a trip of over an hour to see his parents in Shropshire during the Covid lockdown. As a result, he was eventually removed from his position in a reshuffle.
After Liz Truss became a member of Number 10, Jenrick was briefly reinstated in the Department of Health. However, in October 2022, when Rishi Sunak assumed the position of leader, Jenrick was given the role of immigration minister.
The policy in Rwanda had shifted in line with my stance, but the Bill was a display of optimism despite past experiences.
He expressed appreciation for my movement towards his stance during our deliberations on the emergency legislation.
“Nevertheless. I am unable to take the currently proposed legislation through the Commons as I do not believe it provides us with the best possible chance of success.
“A Bill of the kind you are proposing is a triumph of hope over experience. The stakes for the country are too high for us not to pursue the stronger protections required to end the merry-go-round of legal challenges which risk paralysing the scheme and negating its intended deterrent.”
Jenrick wrote to Rishi Sunak expressing concern over the negative impact of the small boats crisis on the country. He urged the government to prioritize national interests over conflicting interpretations of international law.
He stated: “As you are aware, I have been advocating for the most powerful emergency legislation to guarantee that we can remove as many small boat arrivals as quickly as possible under the Rwanda policy, in order to create the strongest deterrent.”
I strongly believe that the current situation with small boats is a pressing issue that is causing significant harm to our nation. To completely put an end to the influx of these boats, we must swiftly implement a powerful deterrent.
I have consistently pushed for a precise law that restricts the ability of both domestic and foreign courts to interfere with or weaken the impact of the policy.
On X, Robert Jenrick formally declared his departure from his role, stating that he cannot remain in his position due to significant differences in views on the Government’s immigration policies.
This concludes the Commons’ response to the Home Secretary’s statement on Rwanda.
Pippa Crerar of The Guardian reports on Robert Jenrick’s resignation.
In a clever manner, the question was posed about how the Bill can adhere to international law despite the Home Secretary’s statement on the front page stating that it is not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The response given in the Commons was, “The statement on the front of the Bill is straightforward and the words are clear.”
“I am confident that we are in compliance with international law, and it is important to note that these two concepts are distinct.”
Former immigration minister Kevin Foster, who holds conservative views, inquired about using Ministry of Defence aircraft to transport individuals to Rwanda. In response, Mr. Cleverly stated that he did not want to delve into specific operational procedures at this time, but he could assure Mr. Foster that they are considering the logistics of such a plan.
Former minister Mark Francois, who holds conservative views, stated that the Home Secretary deliberately avoided answering inquiries regarding specific appeals.
He inquired, “If each person we plan to send to Rwanda is an individual, and they have the ability to continuously appeal under this legislation to delay being put on a flight, then what is the purpose of the Bill?”
In his response, Cleverly stated that the appeal process is a crucial aspect of the new legal procedure and will not prevent individuals from being sent to Rwanda under this program.
According to the home secretary, the offering of personal appeals is not connected to the security of Rwanda.
James Cleverly’s comments were in response to a question from Conservative former minister Dr Caroline Johnson, who said: “There is a provision as he said for individual claims, can he tell what circumstances such an individual could expect to be successful? And how long that and the appeals process will be expected to take?”
Cleverly said: “The provision of individual claims is not to do with the safety of Rwanda, that’s an important distinction that needs to be made.
“Naturally, there must be allowances for appeals, as it is a standard aspect of any judicial or legal procedure.”
Robert Jenrick resigned only a few hours after the prime minister introduced a bill to preserve the policy of deporting people to Rwanda.
He stepped down from his position when the law did not permit ministers to bypass international laws that prevented the government from deporting asylum seekers to central Africa.
Jenrick’s departure will likely be interpreted as a strategic maneuver to establish himself as the leader of a growing conservative opposition, with the goal of securing the UK’s ability to independently authorize flights to Kigali.
A high-ranking Conservative member of parliament stated that James Cleverly’s actions regarding the Government’s new Rwanda treaty and emergency bill will have a lasting impact and he will be evaluated for many years to come.
Former Tory minister Sir John Hayes, who is a strong supporter of former home secretary Suella Braverman, stated in Parliament: “The new Home Secretary will certainly be mindful and pleased that he will be evaluated based on the success of this legislation for weeks, months, and possibly even decades.”
Can he verify that the clauses in this legislation are strong enough to withstand potential objections from individuals who may be transferred to Rwanda, as well as the advocacy groups and unscrupulous lawyers who back them? Specifically, can he address the exemption of Rule 39?
In previous instances, efforts to deport migrants have been halted using orders from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, known as Rule 39 orders.
Cleverly responded with a clever statement, stating that it is the responsibility of ministers to determine our course of action regarding a Rule 39 application, as outlined in the Bill. He also acknowledged that this decision sets significant precedents.
Cleverly stated in the Commons that the European Court of Human Rights could benefit from changes and modernization.
Priti Patel, a former home secretary who identifies as Conservative, requested information on evaluations conducted regarding the strength and validity of the Human Rights Act and other laws in regards to potential legal challenges. This is to ensure the successful execution and implementation of the policy in question.
Cleverly said: “The UK takes its international obligations incredibly seriously. The Human Rights Act is in part being disapplied through this legislation”
According to him, the United Kingdom was among the original members of the European court of human rights. He also stated that they view it as a crucial organization, but similar to other institutions established after World War II, it could use some improvements and modernization.
The secretary in charge of domestic affairs stated: “The United Kingdom possesses a strong legal and parliamentary system. We should have faith in these systems and utilize our knowledge to assist in developing the capabilities of partner nations such as Rwanda.”