MPs voted overwhelmingly to throw out a series of amendments made to the Rwanda Bill by the House of Lords in a move described as “pointless ping-pong” on Monday evening. 

All 10 amendments made by peers over the past few weeks were voted down, meaning the bill has returned to the form in which it was initially passed by the Commons in January.

The bill, which is designed to overcome the Supreme Court’s objections to the plan, will return to the Lords later this week.

Peers will then decide whether to reinsert their amendments and slow down the bill’s passage once again.

The National:

Reacting to the news, the SNP’s home affairs spokesperson Alison Thewliss (above) said: “This is pointless ping-pong on a bill that shouldn’t even exist between the House of Commons and the unelected House of Lords.

“It is dog whistle politics from the Tories in an attempt to win right-wing votes – and it shows how broken Westminster is.

“Although any efforts to try and make this bill more humane are welcome, unfortunately it is a futile task.

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“The cruel Tory bill, in whatever form it is passed, will still penalise some of the most vulnerable people in the world fleeing from war and persecution who deserve our help – and at an eye-watering cost to the taxpayer.

“It could cost taxpayers in the UK £3.9 billion to send just 20,000 migrants to Rwanda, and put their human rights at risk once again.”

Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats voted to keep all 10 amendments but were defeated by the Tory Party.

The rejection of the amendments provided some welcome relief for Rishi Sunak amid speculation that Penny Mordaunt could be lining up to replace him as Tory leader before the election.

Speaking before the vote on Monday, the PM said: “I am still committed to the timeline that I set out previously, which is we aim to get a flight off in the spring.”

According to The Guardian, officials have said if the Lords choose to add in more amendments, it is unlikely to pass until Easter but that they still believe they will hit the spring deadline.

A Downing Street official said: “The timeline remains unchanged, whether the bill is passed before or after Easter.”