Prime Minister Sunak’s surprise bet on Rwanda policy

Lea Hogg 3 weeks ago
Prime Minister Sunak’s surprise bet on Rwanda policy

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, (above on left), found himself in an unexpected situation when he agreed to a £1,000 bet regarding his Rwanda policy. Despite claiming not to be a betting person, Sunak shook hands with TalkTV’s Piers Morgan (pictured on right), agreeing that deportation flights would commence before the next election. The bet, which will be donated to charity, surpasses the £900 cost-of-living payments given to eligible households on means-tested benefits.

Sunak defended his actions stating that the bet was an attempt to underline his absolute commitment to the policy. He dismissed suggestions that he was out of touch with the financial pressures facing ordinary households, arguing that his government’s cuts to national insurance and £100bn support for the most vulnerable in society provided ample support.

Road ahead

The Rwanda policy, which is part of Sunak’s pledge to “stop the boats”, aims to deter people from crossing the Channel. However, the plan has been delayed by legal challenges, and no deportation flights have taken off yet. In an effort to revive the policy, the government introduced legislation declaring Rwanda a safe country. However, the bill needs approval from the House of Lords, where it has faced significant opposition, before it can become law.

Despite these challenges, the government maintains its aim for flights to take off by spring. Sunak reaffirmed his commitment to the policy stating, “I want to get people on the planes.”

The general election in the UK is expected to be held in the second half of this year, with a legal requirement for one to take place by the end of January 2025.

Sunak’s past as a young investment banker who enjoyed “quite dangerous” spread-betting on sport has been brought to the front following his claim of not being a betting person. However, whether this makes him a reformed former gambler seems to be a topic of discussion.

Which charities will benefit from the Prime Minister’s bet?

Several charities have been involved in legal challenges related to the Rwanda policy, and these could potentially benefit from the bet made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. These charities include:

Asylum Aid: This charity claimed that the policy was systemically unfair. Although it was eventually decided that Asylum Aid should not pursue the claim once others had filed similar claims, the charity played a crucial role in initiating the matter.

Detention Action and Care4Calais: These organizations also brought claims for Judicial Review. Despite their claims being unsuccessful due to lack of standing, the court commended these organizations for providing practical and financial support for persons subject to immigration control.

Reaction from the public to the Prime Minister’s bet

The bet has been met with significant criticism and has raised questions about Sunak’s understanding of the financial pressures facing ordinary households.

The general reaction to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s £1,000 bet on his Rwanda policy has been largely critical. The bet has been perceived as a sign that Sunak is “totally out of touch with working people” and that he is “gambling on people’s lives”.

Sunak faced public backlash following the bet, leading him to backtrack on his wager and state that he is “not a betting person”.

Opposition criticism: Opposition parties criticized Sunak for the bet. The Labour party called him “out of touch” and criticized him for betting on a policy that he has lost control over. The SNP reported Sunak to the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, claiming the bet could be a breach of the ministerial code.

Media response: The media has also criticized Sunak’s actions. He was slammed for “gambling on people’s lives” after he took the bet on the Rwanda deportation scheme. He was also criticized for being “out of touch” with working people.

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