By Isabel Ringrose
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Tories are ramping up racism as election approaches

The Tories have pushed the racist Rwanda bill and Labour has lined up behind them
Issue 2897
racism Sunak Tories

Sunak and his party are ramping up racism (Picture: Number 10 on Flickr)

The Tories are in another round of crises. To encourage vile scapegoating and in an effort to win racist votes, the Rwanda deportation scheme was set to become law by the end of the week. 

The perpetual state of chaos for Rishi Sunak and his party comes as the Tories look not just to lose the next election, but to be obliterated. 

It also comes as they ramp up attacks on Muslims and migrants. Sunak was set to face more mutiny in parliament this week against his Rwanda deportation bill, which is now in its final stages. 

The vicious law tries to overcome a Supreme Court block on the plan to send refugees to the east African country. 

It also looks to block appeals. But the Lords have sent ten amendments to the Commons, which could delay the passing of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.

This includes allowing the courts to consider the safety of Rwanda and rewording to allow legal challenges in cases where someone feels they have been wrongly labelled an adult by the state. 

Tory MPs were expected to ­overturn the amendment in votes on Monday. It was then set to return to the House of Lords to be debated on Wednesday.

If the Lords receive the bill with all its amendments rejected, five or six more amendments could be attached.  

The bill could further “ping-pong” between the two houses or become law on Wednesday. If the bill passes, the first flights could be at the end of May. Relying on the Lords to make the bill a bit less awful with some amendments isn’t good enough. 

The plan shows the Tories’ contempt for vulnerable refugees—and attempts to scapegoat them and look tough on immigration as an election approaches.

One of Sunak’s key pledges was to “stop the boats”, and Rwanda was his way of doing it. The Tories are also looking at paying refugees, who’ve had their asylum claims rejected, £3,000 to relocate to Rwanda. 

Meanwhile, rather than standing against Sunak’s crackdown on refugees, the Labour Party has pledged to deport more refugees if it comes to power.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper set out proposals to create a new “returns and enforcement unit” to swiftly remove who they call “failed” asylum seekers and ­foreign national offenders.

Labour is promising more of the same racism should it come to power. Rather than standing against the plans, Keir Starmer’s Labour wants to be better at ­kicking people out of Britain than the Tories. 

And Starmer only stands against the Rwanda plan because it’s unworkable—not because it is wrong or he disagrees with sending refugees to third countries.

The spat between the Tories and Labour over who is nastier to refugees will only lead to more racism—and more uncertainty for refugees.

Rats rushing to leave sinking Tory ship

Rishi Sunak could be ousted before the next general election as the warring Tories look to save their own skins. Some Tory backbenchers may be plotting to replace him with Penny Mordaunt.

Mordaunt would be the sixth prime minister since the 2010 general election—and the third without a vote. Other Tory insiders have said the plan is “nonsense”.

Some Tories may want to wait to see how disastrous the May local elections in England are.  Others may want to wait until after the general election itself to oust Sunak—and do not want one earlier than necessary.

But whether the rumours are true or not, grumblings about Sunak will only get louder, and his position will only become more unstable. The fallout from top donor Frank Hester’s racism towards Diane Abbott put Sunak in the spotlight last week.

Sunak was slow to call the comments “racist and wrong”.  Labour is demanding that the £10 million Hester donated to the Tories in the last year should be returned.

Instead the Tories are in line to grab another £5 million from Hester.  Up to 1,000 people gathered outside Hackney town hall in east London last Friday to stand with their MP after Hester said Abbott made him want to “want to hate all black women” and that she “should be shot”.

And more Tories are announcing that they will desert the sinking ship at the next election—with now 65 set to stand down.

The far right will look to exploit this gap. Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister announced last weekend a formal partnership with Reform UK for the next general election.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice attended the TUV conference in County Antrim—and will later announce “agreed candidates” for constituencies in Northern Ireland in the Westminster election.

Tice said, “I believe in the United Kingdom. I believe with the right leadership we can truly make the United Kingdom great again.” 

Just last week former Tory MP and Islamophobe Lee Anderson joined Reform UK as its first-ever MP. Anderson left the Tory Party after he said Islamists had “control” of London mayor Sadiq Khan.

The far right group’s parliamentary manoeuvres to pick up where the Tories have led must be resisted by anti-racists wherever Reform UK attempts to stand.

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