Today’s news summary – Paper Talk: Tough 48 hours ahead for Rishi Sunak
Tuesday’s front pages report on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s attempts to push through his Rwanda Bill. The proposed legislation would declare Rwanda a safe country and allow the deportation of the UK’s asylum seekers there to go ahead.
According to The Daily Telegraph, two deputy chairmen of the Conservative Party, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith, are set to defy certain aspects of the bill and have endorsed amendments to strengthen the legislation. The newspaper characterises this as a “direct challenge” to Sunak’s authority, suggesting that the pair are essentially daring the prime minister to dismiss them from their party roles. Additionally, it reports that at least five former cabinet members are ready to oppose the legislation.
Both The Daily Mail and Daily Express highlight Sunak’s public declaration that he will “defy Euro judges” if they attempt to obstruct flights to Rwanda. The Mail emphasises that this is the first time he has made such a statement openly, expressing his desire to put an end to the “legal merry-go-round” hindering flight operations. The Express notes that Sunak is expected to face a challenging 48 hours as he seeks support from within the Tory party for his bill.
The Times adds that the prime minister is working to avert a rebellion by assuring an increase in judges and court resources to expedite legal appeals related to deportations permitted by the Rwanda Bill. The newspaper suggests that this move aims to address concerns that an overload of cases in the courts would render the scheme ineffective.
The i newspaper offers a different perspective on the Rwanda controversy, revealing that 47 asylum seekers initially scheduled for the inaugural deportation flight to Rwanda are currently residing in hotels even after 18 months. The paper characterises their situation as being “left in legal limbo.” Officials from the Home Office have asserted that there is no obligatory time constraint, and the government might consider a second attempt to remove them.
Save £20bn a year
The Financial Times headline says the government could save £20 billion through enhanced IT systems, improved project management, and more effective fraud prevention. Gareth Davies, the head of the National Audit Office, tells the paper that the government is grappling with “out-of-date” technology, deteriorating infrastructure, and a “governance problem,” particularly in the management of major projects like HS2.
Away from Rwanda, the Guardian reports on a fresh Houthi attack on a cargo ship, noting that the recent strike targeted a US-owned vessel in the Gulf of Aden, expanding the conflict zone in the Middle East beyond the Red Sea. The paper underscores a significant decrease in shipping activity on the route following the missile strikes by the US and UK on Houthi targets in Yemen. The Guardian poses questions about the necessity for additional attacks by the US-UK alliance in response to the recent Houthi action.