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Tory MP appeals for unity ahead of Rwanda bill’s return to parliament | Politics News

The deputy chair of the Conservatives’ One Nation faction is appealing to his centrist colleagues to be “prepared to compromise” when the government’s revamped Rwanda bill returns to parliament next week.

Earlier today, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt confirmed MPs would get two days to scrutinise the plan as the government seeks to address the concerns of the Supreme Court, who ruled the bill unlawful in November.

The changes to the proposed legislation, announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the days after, would see the African nation deemed a “safe country” and would allow parts of the Human Rights Act to be disregarded, as well as limiting the scope for individual appeals.

But the bill led to a huge split on the Tory benches ahead of Christmas – with MPs on the right demanding Mr Sunak go further in distancing the UK from human rights law, while on the other side, MPs feared it already strayed too far from the country’s international obligations.

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Appealing to the more centrist wing of the party at the One Nation group’s new year drinks on Monday night, the group’s deputy chairman, Matt Warman, praised the approach.

“Deep roots and long memories are what make sure we in this room know the Conservative Party wins elections when it fights them in the mainstream,” he said. “When it looks not to ideology but to the centre ground of tax cuts for the many, not the few.”

Turning to the One Nation position on Rwanda, he added: “We know that we can’t rewrite our international obligations for our sole self-interest.

“We have faith that Britain is who we are because it can take a leading role in the world, rebuilding institutions like the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights] from within – institutions that we helped to build in the first place.”

And hinting at next week’s appearance of the bill in the Commons, amid reports of amendments coming from all sides to change it, the former minister added: “We know that the government is at its best when its bravest legislation is on the right side of international law, unamended.”

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But despite clear differences with others on the right of his party, Mr Warman called for the Conservatives to unite on the issue – especially in a year where they will face voters at the ballot box.

“For all my affectionate ribbing, we know that the Conservative Party is the success it is because it’s such a broad church,” he said.

“People who, however uncomfortable some things might make them, are prepared to compromise in the national interest.

“And not only that, we’ll be out campaigning for all Conservative candidates as the election approaches because we know the real risk to our country is from Labour.”

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