HUNDREDS of people gathered in Parliament Square on Monday night to protest against the Tory government’s Illegal Migration Bill as MPs debated the legislation.

A number of well-known political faces turned up to address the rally, with SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn and former Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn among them.

Crowds cheered as Flynn referenced the language used by Tories to describe refugees and exclaimed: “Shame on them!”

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If the bill is approved by Parliament, anyone who crosses the Channel in a small boat would be barred from ever re-entering the UK and would only be eligible for asylum in a “safe” third country, such as Rwanda.

Powers would be granted to detain migrants for 28 days without recourse for bail or judicial review, and then indefinitely for as long as there is a “reasonable prospect” of removal.

Speaking as MPs discussed the proposals in the Commons, Flynn attacked Tory rhetoric.

“They talk of invasions, they talk of swarms, they talk of hundreds of thousands of people – millions of people, billions of people – wanting to come to these islands. They’re lying, it’s as simple as that. They are lying,” he told the protesters.

“And they are trying to beat down on people they should be offering a helping hand to. Shame on them.

“So London, I’m going to go back across the road now and stand with my colleagues against the Tories. To stand up for refugees and make sure they know – all the folk in hotels across Scotland and the rest of the UK – that we have their back. That there is some good in this world and ultimately good will win.”

Later, Corbyn called the Government’s migration policy “a disgraceful piece of legislation”.

The National:

“This bill basically criminalises anyone who arrives in this country in a very desperate state, it sends them off to Rwanda and puts them in a detention centre along the way,” he told protesters.

“Our place here tonight in Parliament Square is to say to the MPs over there, vote against this Bill, oppose this Bill … oppose it all the way through.”

During the debate in Westminster, a number of Conservative MPs expressed their concerns over the plans.

Former prime minister Theresa May warned modern slavery victims will be “collateral damage” and have the door shut on them by measures within the bill.

May said she is expecting to hold further talks with Downing Street to resolve the issues, adding: “The Government is working hard I know to find a solution to the problem of small boats.

“But I think there are a number of reasons which shed doubt on the approach being taken.”

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Tory former minister Chris Skidmore, writing on Twitter, said he cannot vote for the bill as he is “not prepared to break international law or the human rights conventions that the UK has had a proud history of playing a leading role in establishing”.

And Simon Hoare, MP for North Dorset, said that he and other Tory MPs will offer their support at the bill’s second reading on Monday evening on the basis that amendments follow.