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Lord Ricketts promises to remain until the end to oppose Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Bill

Former ambassador and independent peer Lord Peter Ricketts vowed to “stay as long as it takes” to challenge Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s contentious Rwanda Bill in the House of Lords on Monday night. The law being discussed must gain approval

Rwanda

Lord Ricketts appears on LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr before the Rwanda debate. (Photo via LBC/Tonight with Andrew Marr)

Former ambassador and independent peer Lord Peter Ricketts pledged to “stay as long as necessary” to challenge Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s contentious Rwanda Bill in the House of Lords on Monday night.

The law being discussed needs approval from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and discussion could extend into the early hours of Tuesday as the houses argue over changes.

Appearing on LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr, Lord Ricketts expressed his strong reservations about the law, describing his opposition as a “matter of principle” but acknowledged that he was concerned Labour peers “will give in,” weakening the upper house’s resistance to the bill.

He informed host Andrew Marr: “We believe this is a matter of principle, and I’m certainly ready to stay for as long as necessary until the very last train or the one after. I think there will probably be one round, where the Lords will vote on these two changes and send it back to the Commons. After that, the Commons will likely reject them, by then it will be quite late in the evening. And I suspect at that point the Labour Party will give in, and some others will start to go home. So probably, that’s the point at which people will say: ‘We maintain our point of principle, but we’re not going to fight any more.’”

During the interview, Lord Ricketts passionately argued for the acceptance of Lord Des Browne’s suggested change, which would protect Afghan interpreters, who assisted British forces during the lengthy Afghanistan war, from being moved under the bill.

Lord Ricketts said: “I used to visit Afghanistan when I was National Security Adviser, I saw these individuals, interpreters, people aiding the British forces in many ways. They were taking a risk because the entire community knew that they were supporting the British. And when the British forces departed, they stayed in their homes. So, they are at risk, and we have a moral obligation to ensure they do not come to harm.”

He further stated: “I think people will want to hear it at the despatch box in the House of Lords and them accepting Des Browne’s change, which is a very straightforward change.”

The peer added: “It’s a matter of national honor, it’s also a practical point because we want local individuals to work with our forces again in future military situations, we need them to be certain that if things come to it, we will look after them, we won’t abandon them to face the consequences of working with us.”

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