Dorset MP Michael Tomlinson named as new Minister for Illegal Migration

DORSET MP Michael Tomlinson has been announced as one replacement for Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick.

Mr Jenrick (Con, Newark) controversially resigned on Wednesday after Home Secretary James Cleverly outlined the Government’s new Rwanda Bill, aimed at ensuring asylum seekers can be flown to the African country for processing.

Rather than naming a direct replacement for Mr Jenrick – who resigned saying the new bill would not give the government “the best chance of success” of removing people to Rwanda – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has instead appointed two new ministers.

Mr Tomlinson (Con, Mid Dorset and North Poole) has been made Minister for Illegal Migration, while Tom Pursglove (Con, Corby), will be Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery.

The moves mean Mr Tomlinson, who has been the MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole since 2015, will have the task of seeing the Government’s controversial Rwanda Bill through Parliament.

“This government is committed to stopping the boats,” Mr Tomlinson said. “The Prime Minister has asked me to join the fantastic team at (the Home Office) and I’m looking forward to attending Cabinet to help ensure we deliver on that pledge.”

The bill, brought in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling a plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful, aims to address issues raised by judges who deemed the country unsafe.

However, the legislation has received a mixed response from legislators, including Mr Jenrick, who resigned on Wednesday over the bill.

In his resignation letter, Mr Jenrick wrote he could was “unable to take the currently proposed legislation through the Commons as I do not believe it provides us with the best possible chance of success”.

“A bill of the kind you are proposing is a triumph of hope over experience,” he added.

Tom Pursglove (Con, Corby) has been named Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery

Tom Pursglove (Con, Corby) has been named Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery

The resignation came as former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, told the BBC’s Today programme the new legislation “won’t work”.

“The prime minister made the promise to stop the boats at the beginning of the year,” she said. “We now need to deliver on that pledge.

“The time for talk, the time for slogans and promises is over. We need to show delivery and that’s what this debate right now is all about.”

The Prime Minister has since given a press conference in which he said the new bill “blocks every single reason that has ever been used to prevent flights to Rwanda from taking off”.

“The only, extremely narrow exception will be if you can prove with credible and compelling evidence that you specifically have a real and imminent risk of serious and irreversible harm,” he said.

“We have to recognise that as a matter of law – and if we didn’t, we’d undermine the treaty we’ve just signed with Rwanda.

“As the Rwandans themselves have made clear, if we go any further the entire scheme will collapse. And there’s no point having a bill with nowhere to send people to.

“But I am telling you now, we have set the bar so high that it will be vanishingly rare for anyone to meet it.”

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