Rishi Sunak has been rocked by the resignation of his immigration minister after rejecting demands to opt out of European human rights laws to revive the Rwanda policy.
Home Secretary James Cleverly confirmed that Robert Jenrick has left the Government after the Prime Minister shunned taking the more hardline option with his new emergency legislation.
“That has been confirmed,” Mr Cleverly said after repeated questioning during his Commons statement on the plans, during which the immigration minister was conspicuously absent.
Mr Jenrick, who is yet to comment, had been seen as taking an increasingly firm approach over plans to stop asylum seekers making unauthorised crossings of the Channel in small boats in recent weeks.
The draft Bill, published on Wednesday, compels judges to treat Rwanda as a safe country after the Supreme Court ruled the scheme was unlawful over risks to refugees.
The legislation, which must be voted on by Parliament, gives ministers the powers to disregard sections of the Human Rights Act.
But it does not go as far as providing powers to dismiss the European Convention on Human Rights, as hardliners including sacked home secretary Suella Braverman have demanded.
Mrs Braverman’s allies made clear that the Bill is “fatally flawed”, indicating that she believes it will quickly lead the Tories into “electoral oblivion”.