Boris Johnson has been hit by a spate of Lords defeats on controversial immigration reforms

The government is trying to ram contentious immigration and asylum reforms through Parliament before the end of the session


Boris Johnson has suffered a string of fresh defeats in the House of Lords over his controversial immigration reform.

Defiant peers forced the Nationality and Borders Bill back into the House of Commons after winning a string of votes on the hotly contested legislation.

Home Secretary Priti Patel was spotted in the House of Lords tonight as the Government attempted to push through its immigration and asylum reforms ahead of the Queen’s May 10 speech.

A Labor source in the Lords said they are hitting a “brick wall” with Ms Patel over “unenforceable” legislation that provides the legal framework for controversial plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The bill is stuck in the ‘ping pong’ between the Tory-led Commons and the Lords, with just days until the end of Parliament. It has already been knocked back three times.

Asylum seekers arrive at the Port of Dover after being met by British Border Force in the English Channel


(Getty Images)

Tonight the peers again backed moves aimed at preventing asylum seekers from being treated differently depending on how they reached the UK and renewed their call for applicants to be allowed to work if, after six months, there is no decision on their application was made.

The Lords also supported action to force the law to uphold the UK’s international obligations towards refugees.

But the government narrowly fell short on an offer to impose strict conditions on moving asylum abroad and scrap a plan that would make it a crime to knowingly enter the UK without permission.

A Labor proposal to limit protections for potential victims of modern slavery was also defeated.

A Labor source in the Lords said: “We are clearly encountering a brick wall with the Home Secretary who appears overly focused on getting this legislation through and ignoring carefully considered advice from colleagues across the House as to why aspects of this bill are unworkable. ”

Home Secretary Baroness Williams of Trafford defended the need for the reforms included in the bill.

The Tory frontbencher said: “The world is facing a migration crisis. An estimated 80 million people have been displaced by conflict and instability around the world. Others try to relocate in search of better economic opportunities.

“Challenges need solutions, not just complaints about what is being proposed.”

She added: “Breaking the human smugglers’ business model and managing the flow of people entering this country is one of the most humane things we can do.

“The actions in this bill will allow us to save lives and ensure we can effectively support and care for those who need it most.”

But Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, a colleague in the Green Party, accused the government of “becoming a trafficking gang”.

She said: “The government will actually take people abroad and leave them there.

“They are taking them to a country where there are human rights violations. It’s cruel.”

Former Brexit Party MEP Baroness Fox of Buckley said she was “always nervous about outsourcing to poor African countries that need the money”.

“It seems unsavory and cowardly,” she added.

Harrogate Conservative peer and former Immigration Secretary Lord Kirkhope said he remains opposed to the outsourcing of asylum seekers.

He told the Lords: “I think it’s inappropriate, I think it’s legally questionable, I think it’s going to be very expensive and I don’t think it’s going to have a deterrent effect on the traffickers, who should be treated in a hard way.” kind.”

The bill will now be returned to the Commons for consideration.

Attempts to force the Government to cap the amount tenants would pay for security repairs to £250 were also rebuffed by the Lords.

The government’s victory paves the way for legislation to complete its passage through Parliament before prorogation.

The peers were scheduled to vote late into the night on the Health & Care Bill and the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill.

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