Rwanda Bill

The cracks within the Conservative Party have long been present, occasionally reminding British citizens that they’re not, at times, united. With the emergence of the Rwanda Bill, however, their division became even more apparent and serious. 

And the one facing the most ordeal out of the situation is none other than British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak himself, as this signaled that his premiership may not be as solid as many had previously believed. Sunak, in the past few weeks, has been appeasing the opposing factions within the Conservative Party, constantly reassuring them that he’d do things as they see fit. 

With their in-fighting coming to light, this warranted a review of the list of groups in the party and what each group stood for.

One Nation Caucus and the Rwanda Bill

This group includes more than 100 Conservative MPs or nearly one-third of the party’s total membership. They support an ideology that emphasizes the centrality of economic and social policies. 

Position on Rwanda: While some were reportedly unhappy that Sunak’s new Rwanda bill partially disregarded the UK’s international legal obligations, they nevertheless endorsed it and cautioned the PM against making it even more stringent. 

Five families

Contrary to the One Nation caucus, the five families do not represent only one group, but five. 

They are an alliance of five different right-wing Tory groups that claim to represent more than 100 MPs overall. The five Tory rebel factions are: the European Research Group (ERG), the New Conservatives, the Common Sense Group, the Conservative Growth Group, and the Northern Research Group. 

Out of these five, the ERG  has emerged as the most prominent in recent years. Currently, Mark Francois spearheads the group.

Position on Rwanda: Right before the legislation entered its second hearing, the five families convened and sought advice from a ‘star-chamber’ group of lawyers commissioned by ERG. Speaking on their behalf, Francois advised Sunak to ‘pull the bill’ as their legal advisers found out that the bill was to weak to reach its aims and had too many holes in it. They argued that the legislation will still allow the illegal immigrants to challenge their claims and avoid being sent back to Rwanda.

Other groups

The other groups within the party are the Conservative Democratic Organization (CDO), China Research Group (focused on China discussions), and Net Zero Scrutiny Group/Conservative Environment Network (currently focused on environmental concerns).

Among all of these factions, the CDO has expressed significant opposition to Sunak’s ascension to power, calling his appointment “undemocratic.”

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