Monday, 22 Apr 2024

Tory MP writes to Rishi Sunak demanding action on meddling European court

A Tory MP has written to Rishi Sunak demanding Britain pulls out of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Andrea Jenkyns’ intervention comes after the PM met the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Siofra O’Leary, to call for reforms to Strasbourg measures which have hampered his plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

But Ms Jenkyns is calling on Mr Sunak to go further and end the jurisdiction of the Strasbourg court – which oversees the implementation of the convention – in the UK.

In her strongly-worded letter to the PM, the former minister said: “The overwhelming majority of British people do not want reform to the court, they want to withdraw from the convention altogether and see a British Bill of Rights introduced into domestic law.

“My constituents, alongside many millions in our nation, voted to end the jurisdiction of this foreign court, which has sought to delay our deportation of illegal migrants to Rwanda under Rule 39.

“This has frustrated both the process and the hard-working British people who have been forced to foot a growing daily bill of some £6.8 million.”

She added: “If our sovereignty is to mean anything at all, it must mean that our Westminster Parliament is the primary law-making body of our land, and that only UK courts serve as arbiters for UK law.

“Conservation with the European court is all well and good, but a situation of this severity calls for action, not conversation.

“To end the rising tide of illegal immigration and put a stop to the many millions wasted on asylum hotels we must withdraw from the ECHR and legislate for these rights in domestic legislation.”

Mr Sunak met Ms O’Leary during his trip to Iceland yesterday for the Council of Europe summit to call for changes to Rule 39 interim rulings so there is greater accountability.

The so-called “pyjama injunctions” were used late at night to ground the first flight taking asylum seekers on a one-way ticket to Rwanda last year.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister and Court President discussed the importance of protecting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law throughout Europe.

“The Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure all of Europe is working together to uphold these values and tackle the challenges we face, including illegal migration.

“The Prime Minister and Court President also discussed procedures before the ECtHR, which the latter regularly reviews, including Rule 39 interim measures.”

Mr Sunak made tackling the small boats crisis one of his top five priorities for his premiership.

But the number of people making the Channel crossing this year is expected to top 50,000.

The Illegal Migration Bill, which has cleared the Commons and is currently going through the Lords, aims to send asylum seekers who arrive in Britain via unauthorised routes back home or to a third country such as Rwanda.

The PM has toughed up the bill to give ministers the power to ignore Rule 39 injunctions.

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