PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak clashed with SNP MP Joanna Cherry as she questioned him on whether actions he had taken in government made him “proud”.

The Tory leader attempted to suggest that Cherry was using rhetoric which would put MPs in danger after she pushed him on why his party had been whipped against preventing Afghans who have supported the UK armed forces being sent to Rwanda.

First, appearing as part of Westminster’s Liaison Committee in her capacity as chair of the Human Rights Committee, Cherry asked Sunak: “The interim prime minister of Pakistan … has referred to the UK's Rwanda policy in defence of his country's decision to expel from Pakistan hundreds of thousands of Afghans who fled from the Taliban regime.

“Are you proud that he used your Rwanda policy to justify doing that?”

Sunak said he was “obviously not responsible” for what politicians in Pakistan said, calling Cherry’s question “bizarre”.

Cherry then said: “There's evidence that quite a high number of people fleeing the Taliban regime are reaching the United Kingdom's shore on small boats.

“Are you proud that your Members of Parliament were whipped against voting for an amendment that would have prevented Afghans who had aided or supported his majesty's armed forces in Afghanistan from being sent to Rwanda?”

Sunak responded: “I really disagree with that characterisation.

“Given we've just had all these debates in Parliament about opposition day debates and what they do to MPs and intimidation. I actually think characterising like that is deeply unhelpful.”

The Prime Minister’s reference was to an SNP opposition day debate which saw Speaker Lindsay Hoyle ignore official advice, change parliamentary rules, and allow a Labour motion to be debated.

READ MORE: Afghan reflects on ‘disastrous’ day the Taliban took control of his country

Hoyle insisted that a prior meeting with Keir Starmer had not influenced his decision, and claimed it was made to protect MPs.

Cherry said she resented Sunak linking her question to that.

She said: “I have to say Prime Minister, I have to say I resent your characterisation.

“I'm asking you a perfectly reasonable question. There are people coming to our shores who have previously aided and abetted our armed forces in Afghanistan and you whipped your MPs against an amendment which would have prevented them from being deported to Rwanda.

“I'm asking you whether you are proud of that.”

Sunak responded: “We have a very clear obligation to make sure that we support those who aided us in Afghanistan and we are delivering on that.

“We have multiple different schemes which I've discussed in this committee in the past, three strands of them, those schemes are operating and bringing thousands of Afghans safely to the UK in a way which is sustainable and where we can provide them with the appropriate support they need when they are here.”

Elsewhere at the committee hearing, Sunak refused to comment on former prime minister Liz Truss’s claims about a “deep state” – words which are widely seen to be part of far-right conspiracy theories.

Sunak would only say the comments were a question for Truss, quipping that he would not tell MPs if he were a part of the “deep state”.