Watch moment Rwanda bill passes second reading amid Conservative rebel abstentions

The Safety of Rwanda Bill passed its second reading this evening, as Conservative rebels opted to abstain on the legislation at this stage.

The bill was passed with a majority of 313 to 269, with no Conservative MP voting against the bill.

But 38 Conservative MPs abstained, including former home secretary Suella Braverman and former immigration minister Robert Jenrick.

Speaking in the debate that preceded the commons division this evening, home secretary James Cleverly told MPs: “If this government is stopping the boats, arrivals are down by a third this year as illegal entries are on the rise elsewhere in Europe”.

He added: “Of course, of course this government respects court judgements even when we disagree with them. But parliament and the British people want an end to illegal immigration and they support the Rwanda plan”.

In his speech today, Robert Jenrick told the House: “I will never elevate contested notions of international law over the interests of my constituents, over vital national interests like national security, like border security.

“This bill could be so much better. Let’s make it better. Let’s make it work”.

Jenrick dismisses ‘contested notions of international law’ as he insists PM strengthen Rwanda bill