Lee Anderson said ministers should “ignore the law” and start sending asylum seekers to the East African nation regardless, while Jonathan Gullis suggested they consider physically pushing small boats back into French waters in the Channel before delivering this social media soundbite (or should I say contribution?) to parliament:
But while it’s easy to dismiss the deputy Tory Party chair for acting like a petulant child and laugh at notions of a Stoke-on-Trent MP donning his speedos to guard the English Channel, other voices from within the same wing of the party are starting to win some appeal.
Danny Kruger, the MP for Devizes and, coincidentally, Prue Leith’s son, has called on the government to “immediately” overrule existing British laws and international agreements which led to the Rwanda plan being blocked, saying it must do “what is necessary to insist on our sovereignty”.
Alongside Miriam Cates, both co-founders of the New Conservative group of MPs, he did the media rounds as the Tory Party was stuck in a state of paralysis and set forth a nuanced and well-articulated version of what both Anderson and Gullis were calling for without making it seem like he was writing it all in crayon.
Which is what makes him potentially more dangerous than the other MPs in the increasingly influential New Conservative group.
Up until now, Kruger has displayed all the hallmarks of being a bit dangerously right-wing without being cast as such, albeit in one or two cases where his reputation preceded him.
The Eton-educated politician, who has served both as David Cameron’s chief speechwriter and Boris Johnson’s political secretary, has consistently voted against measures to prevent climate change, for a stricter asylum system, and against more EU integration, according to They Work For You, which analyses how MPs vote.
In June 2022, during a debate in the Commons about the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade, he said he does not believe that women have “an absolute right to bodily autonomy”, saying he would “probably disagree” with his parliamentary colleagues on the ruling.
And in October 2023 Kruger claimed on Sky News that many asylum applicants to the UK were pretending to be gay so as to increase their chances of remaining, without any evidence to support the claim.
As rumours of the Tory right-wing becoming more mobilised start to circulate, he is certainly one to watch.