David Cameron ‘absolutely’ backs Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda plan

U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he is “absolutely” behind Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The former prime minister described the policy as “unorthodox” and “out-of-box thinking.” But when asked on POLITICO’s Power Play podcast whether he would have devised the policy when he was in Downing Street, Cameron said: “Yes, my heart is absolutely in it.”

Sunak’s bill to overcome legal challenges to the controversial policy passed a crucial stage in the House of Commons Wednesday night after backbench critics gave their support.

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill passed its third reading with 320 MPs voting in support, and 276 voting against, giving the government a comfortable majority of 44. Only 11 Conservative MPs voted against the bill, including former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick.

However, the legislation is expected to meet stiff resistance in Britain’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, where Cameron now sits as a peer.

“I’m sure [the Lords] will have lots of questions, but I don’t think it should hold it up,” he said. Asked whether flights to Rwanda will leave before the general election, expected in the fall, Cameron said, “I hope they will take place.”