James Cleverly defies Tory right’s push to leave ECHR

The foreign secretary has defied the Tory right by arguing that the UK should remain a signatory of the European convention on human rights (ECHR), as Rishi Sunak caves to demands from hard-right MPs to ignore European court rulings on small boats.

James Cleverly said he was “not convinced” that leaving the ECHR was necessary to ensure the immigration system was robust, and that the UK had the clout to push for changes if needed, prompting speculation he may be uncomfortable with the move.

The development comes as the government prepares to propose safe and legal routes for refugees to come to the UK next year, in a move meant to placate the party’s left.

In an interview with the Guardian after the G7 summit in Japan, Cleverly said the UK should not wish to join Belarus and Russia, the only European countries outside the ECHR, after some Tory MPs called for the UK to withdraw.

“European countries which are not part of the ECHR is a small club. I am not convinced it is a club we…

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This article was written by Pippa Crerar and Rajeev Syal and originally published on www.theguardian.com