Rishi Sunak urged to act like hero Winston and reform court

The Strasbourg Court triggered fury in Tory circles last year when its intervention stopped the inaugural flight in the Government scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The Supreme Court will shortly rule on the legality of the Rwanda plan.

But there are fears the flights – seen by Tories as a vital tool in deterring people from crossing the Channel in small boats – will once again be grounded by the ECHR.

Danny Kruger, a leading member of the New Conservatives group of MPs, said: “After World War Two, Winston Churchill worked with the countries of Europe to build a new framework of human rights.

“Activist European judges mean the ECHR is no longer fit for purpose. Rishi Sunak should copy Churchill and build a new alliance of nation states to reform or replace the ECHR, reasserting national sovereignty and taking back control of our borders.”

Churchill was a key figure in the establishment of the ECHR.

Mark Francois, chairman of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs also backs reform, saying: “The judicial overreach of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg into British life, not least in areas such as asylum and cross-Channel migrants – often contrary to the wishes of Parliament – is becoming an increasingly serious problem in running our country.”

Tackling illegal migration is a top priority for many Tory MPs, particularly those in old Labour strongholds.

Alexander Stafford, who won Rother Valley in 2019, argues Britain is by no means the only European member frustrated by the ECHR.

He said: “We must work with our continental friends to overthrow this tyranny so we can realise the Brexit dream of being a completely independent and free nation.”

Austria this month signed a “migration and security agreement” with the UK and wants to implement a Rwanda-style scheme to send asylum seekers to a “third country”.

Denmark passed a law in 2021 that would have allowed it to send asylum seekers but it was not put into action.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers argues the European Convention on Human Rights, enforced by the Court, must be overhauled, saying: “The Convention was drafted in a completely different era.”

But Jonathan Eyal of the Royal United Services Institute doubts states could agree on what should replace the status quo. He said: “There is no consensus emerging at the moment.”

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