Rishi Sunak has hinted he will call a general election after he promised to do “whatever it takes” to get his Rwanda migrant deal back on track.
The PM was asked today if he would consider calling an election to give him the power to pass emergency legislation to deem the African nation a third safe country for asylum seekers, with peers unlikely to approve any law which breaches international human rights obligations.
It comes after his deportation plan was deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Replying to ITV, the prime minister said he would not rule out a general election, but asked the Labour Party not to “stand in the way” of the Rwanda deal.
He said: “It doesn’t have to take a long time to get legislation through – and that is a question for the Labour Party.
“We’re determined to get this through as quickly as possible. So the real question is: is the Labour Party going to stand in the way and stop this from happening, or are they going to work with us and support this Bill so we can get it through as quickly as possible?”
He was then asked for a second time about whether he would call a general election in order to see plans passed.
Sunak replied: “Well, I think people just want the problem fixed. That’s what I’m here to do.”
“We can pass these laws in Parliament that will give us the powers and the tools we need. Then we can get the flights off and whether it’s the House of Lords or the Labour Party standing in our way I will take them on because I want to get this thing done and I want to stop the boats.”
It comes after former minister Simon Clarke told the prime minister to call an election if plans fail to make it through the House of Lords.
He told the BBC: “If it becomes clear that we cannot deliver this policy within the constraints of what the Lords would allow, then that is that is an issue which I think we could take to the country and quite reasonably so.
“This is not a sort of a trivial issue, or an incidental one, in the eyes of millions of voters. This is fundamental to their confidence, specifically in this government, but more broadly in the ability of the British state to govern Britain.”