UK Labour’s Starmer expects government to win vote on Rwanda bill

LONDON (Reuters) – British opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said he expected the government to win a vote in parliament later on Tuesday on its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, but if it does not then Prime Minister Rishi Sunak should call an election.

Sunak faces the biggest parliamentary test of his premiership later when lawmakers vote on a Rwanda plan which has deeply divided his party, alienating both moderates and right-wing politicians, who have threatened not to support it.

“It’ll go through tonight, I don’t doubt, with a lot of shouting and screaming but in the end it’ll go through,” Starmer said during a question and answer session following a speech.

“This is a government with a majority so I don’t think we should allow them the indulgence of pretending it is going to be tight … If the prime minister loses the vote, of course he should call a general election.”

Earlier, Starmer said if the Rwanda law passes and his party wins an election expected next year, he would repeal it.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Michael Holden and Kate Holton)