Tory deputy chairmen resign party roles as government suffers significant rebellion on Rwanda bill

Two deputy chairs of the Conservative Party have resigned from their roles after they both supported rebel amendments to Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill.

Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith both said they would support proposed changes designed to toughen up Mr Sunak’s bill, which seeks to declare Rwanda a safe country to deport asylum seekers to.

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Jane Stevenson, a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) in the Department for Business and Trade, also said she would support rebel amendments to the Rwanda Bill.

On Monday night, Mr Anderson, who takes a hardline stance on immigration issues, said he would vote in favour of a series of amendments tabled by backbench MPs Robert Jenrick and Sir Bill Cash.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, who is also deputy chair of the Conservative Party, also confirmed he would vote for the rebel amendments, writing on X: “When I was elected in 2019 I promised my constituents we would take back control.

“I want this legislation to be as strong as possible and therefore I will be supporting the Jenrick/Cash amendments. These are arguments I have consistently made and will continue to make.”

Asked by Sky News if he knew whether he would be sacked, he replied: “We’ll see. It’s not for me to decide.”

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