Rishi Sunak latest news: PM plans 'emergency' law changes after Rwanda ruling

Prime minister pledges to ignore European court after controversial asylum plan blocked

The prime minister said at a press conference that he did not agree with the decision. (Parliament)
The prime minister said at a press conference that he did not agree with the decision. (Parliament)

Rishi Sunak has said he will introduce “emergency legislation” to deem Rwanda a safe country and prevent the “merry-go-round” of legal challenges, after the government lost its Supreme Court battle.

He reiterated the government's pledge to "stop the boats" and said that the government had done more on illegal migration than any other government.

Speaking earlier in PMQs, Sunak said he would “finalise” a new treaty with Rwanda in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment and was “prepared to revisit our domestic legal frameworks” if necessary.

"I am prepared to change our laws and revisit those international relationships - the British people expect us to do whatever it takes to stop the boats," he said.

In a dramatic day in Westminster, the ruling came amid Labour turmoil as eight shadow ministers and two parliamentary private secretaries left Keir Starmer’s frontbench after voting in the Commons for a Gaza ceasefire against the party line.

The eight shadow ministers are Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Afzal Khan, Sarah Owen, Jess Phillips, Yasmin Qureshi, Naz Shah and Andy Slaughter.

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  • Harriet Sinclair

    Sunak vows to fight over Rwanda ruling

    Rishi Sunak said that he would not let a “foreign court” block flights to Rwanda, as he took aim at the European Court of Human Rights.

    The Prime Minister said he is “prepared to do what is necessary” if the court intervenes “against the expressed wishes” of MPs.

    At a press conference, Sunak said: “We must be honest about the fact that even once Parliament has changed the law here at home, we could still face challenges from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    “I told Parliament earlier today that I’m prepared to change our laws and revisit those international relationships to remove the obstacles in our way.

    “So let me tell everybody now, I will not allow a foreign court to block these flights.

    “If the Strasbourg court chooses to intervene against the expressed wishes of Parliament, I am prepared to do what is necessary to get flights off.

    “I will not take the easy way out.

    “Because I fundamentally do not believe that anyone thinks the founding aims of the European Convention on Human Rights was to stop a sovereign Parliament removing illegal migrants to a country deemed to be safe in parliamentary statute and binding international law.”

  • Harriet Sinclair

    Starmer suffers major frontbench rebellion in Gaza ceasefire vote

    Sir Keir Starmer has lost eight frontbenchers following Wednesday’s Commons vote.

    Read the full story from PA

  • Harriet Sinclair

    Who defied the whip?

  • Harriet Sinclair

    Blow for Starmer as 10 frontbenchers quit or are sacked amid mass rebellion over his Gaza ceasefire stance

    56 Labour MPs - more than one in four - defy party leader.

    Read the full story from The Independent

  • Harriet Sinclair

    Significant rebellion for Starmer

    A total of 56 Labour MPs, including 10 frontbench MPs, have rebelled over the Gaza ceasefire vote - breaking with Sir Keir Starmer on the issue.

  • Harriet Sinclair

    How many people have quit roles over Gaza ceasefire?

    Eight shadow ministers and two parliamentary private secretaries have left Sir Keir Starmer’s frontbench after voting for a ceasefire in Gaza, Labour said.

    The eight shadow ministers are Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Afzal Khan, Sarah Owen, Jess Phillips, Yasmin Qureshi, Naz Shah and Andy Slaughter.

    Parliamentary private secretaries Dan Carden and Mary Foy have also left the frontbench.

  • Yahoo News Uk

    Starmer responds to triple resignations

    In a statement following the vote, Starmer said he regretted that party colleagues had not backed his position.

    This was his statement:

    “Alongside leaders around the world, I have called throughout for adherence to international law, for humanitarian pauses to allow access for aid, food, water, utilities and medicine, and have expressed our concerns at the scale of civilian casualties.

    “Much more needs to be done in this regard to ease the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Gaza.

    “And in addition to addressing the present, every leader has a duty not to go back to a failed strategy of containment and neglect, but to forge a better and more secure future for both Palestinians and Israelis.

    “I regret that some colleagues felt unable to support the position tonight. But I wanted to be clear about where I stood, and where I will stand.

    “Leadership is about doing the right thing. That is the least the public deserves. And the least that leadership demands.”

  • Yahoo News Uk

    Jess Phillips quits

    Jess Phillips has become the fourth Labour MP to quit Starmer's shadow front-bench, the most high-profile departure to date.

    In a post on social media site X, she said she "can see no route where the current military action does anything but put at risk the hope of peace and security for anyone in the region".

    This was her post.

  • Harriet Sinclair

    It's important for me to stand up, not just for my community as a British-Palestinian, but also for my local Jewish and Israeli communities.

    Yahoo News - Insights is a new series in which we hear directly from people with an inside track of the big issues. Here, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran writes about her extended family trapped in Gaza

  • Yahoo News Uk

    Three Labour MPs defy Starmer and quit

    At least three Labour MPs have quit Keir Starmer's shadow frontbench over the party's stance on the conflict in Gaza.

    Starmer had said any member of his top team who refused to support him would be sacked.

    More resignations are expected.

    Yasmin Qureshi, Afzal Khan and Paula Barker all resigned after promising to back a vote in the House of Commons calling for a ceasefire.

    Barker said: “My office has been overwhelmed with correspondence on the matter and my constituents have made their views and strength of feeling on this matter very clear – and I share that strength of feeling.”

    Khan, the shadow minister for exports, told Starmer in a letter: “I understand that you do not feel that a ceasefire is currently the right course of action and due to our difference of opinion on the issue, I do not feel I am able to continue as a shadow minister.”

    Qureshi, the MP for Bolton South East, wrote: “The situation in Gaza desperately requires an immediate ceasefire to address the humanitarian catastrophe and to advance moves towards a political solution that brings freedom, prosperity and security.”

    MPs voted 293 to 125, majority 168, to reject the SNP’s King’s Speech amendment calling for “all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.