Rishi Sunak is being ‘inauthentic’ on ECHR threat, claims Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman has said that the prime minister’s “noises” about withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) are likely to be seen by voters as being “inauthentic”.

It came as the former home secretary urged Rishi Sunak to take the UK out of the ECHR and fight the coming general election on the issue.

Braverman told GB News: “We need to leave the European Convention of Human Rights and we need to do it now. It is no good putting it in a manifesto for the Conservative Party at the next general election, it is no good putting off the debate.”

Braverman insisted that leaving the ECHR could be delivered before the election.

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She added: “Let’s fight the next election on it. Let’s force Keir Starmer’s hand, because I tell you, it would be great to see the Labour Party campaign to hand back control to Strasbourg, hand back control over our borders to a foreign court.

“Let’s have that debate with the British public. But the Prime Minister has the authority and he has the majority, I believe, to deliver what’s necessary to actually stop the boats.”

Rishi Sunak has hinted in recent weeks that he could take the UK out of the convention if the Strasbourg court blocks his Rwanda deportation plan.

Earlier this month, the PM argued that controlling immigration is more important than “membership of a foreign court” in his strongest hint yet that he could back leaving the ECHR.

The prime minister told The Sun’s Never Mind The Ballots programme: “I believe that all plans are compliant with all of our international obligations including the ECHR. 

“But I do believe that border security and making sure that we can control illegal migration is more important than membership of a foreign court because it’s fundamental to our sovereignty as a country.”

Commenting on the PM’s recent remarks, Braverman told GB News: “I worked very closely with the Prime Minister on this issue for over a year and his view, as expressed to me, was that he does not support leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

“We’re hearing a lot of noises from him right now. I do believe the British people would see them as inauthentic. I think if he’s really serious about stopping the boats, he’ll do what is necessary.”

It comes as the Safety of Rwanda Bill returns to the House of Commons this afternoon for MPs to once again consider amendments favoured by the House of Lords. Last night, the Lords voted in favour of four amendments aimed at moderating the legislation. 

The first amendment would require the government to have “due to regard for international law” while implementing the legislation. It would also mandate “due regard” for: the Children Act 1989, the Human Rights Act 1998, and the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Another amendment would restore the jurisdiction of domestic courts in relation to the safety of Rwanda and enable them to intervene.

The last amendment mandates that those who worked with the UK military or government overseas, such as Afghan interpreters, to be exempted from removal to Rwanda.

Speaking this morning, Rishi Sunak insisted the government “will do everything” it can to begin deportation flights to Rwanda. 

The PM told broadcasters: “My priority is to stop the boats, I said this very clearly when I became prime minister, and right now we’re trying to get the bill through parliament in the face of enormous opposition from the Labour Party and in the House of Lords.

“But once we get this bill onto the statute books we will do everything we can to get flights off to Rwanda, because fundamentally it’s a matter of fairness.

“It’s simply not right that people can jump the queue and come to our country illegally.”

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