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Politics latest: Rishi Sunak safeguards home secretary’s usage of term ‘intrusion’ to explain little boat crossings as he deals with senior MPs | Politics News


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The face of the inscrutable Nicholas Howard, the civil servant sitting behind Rishi Sunak, lastly gets into a beaming smile and he almost – just almost – laughes.

The factor: some usually knockabout small talk in between the SNP MP Angus MacNeil and Mr Sunak about Scottish self-reliance Brexit, in which – it’s reasonable to state – they consent to vary.

And as the session wanes, Sir Bernard asks him about his Rwanda deportation plan and the PM informs him: “We will get battles to Rwanda as quickly as we can after the legal procedures have actually been finished.”

Which is as unclear as a few of Mr Sunak’s responses at the start of the hearing. 

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We’re still none the better on the Rwanda policy: numbers or schedule.

And from that, the session moves towards an energy-sapping anti-climax as Sir Bill Cash declares the Windsor Framework harms the Union of the UK, to which Mr Sunak responds wearily: “On that, Bill, I will need to respectfully disagree.”

Sir Bernard then concludes procedures by asking what occurs if powersharing in Northern Ireland is not brought back.

But Mr Sunak ends the session as he started it, by ducking the concern.

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He says he hopes it is brought back, triggering Sir Bernard to state that if it isn’t, the Northern Ireland Protocol will need to be changed by something that has the self-confidence of both celebrations.

At last, a strong declaration from somebody in the room.

After his starring efficiency at last week’s benefits committee, Sir Bernard has actually been on good form once again here.

Mr Sunak, on the other hand, after a safety-first efficiency, has actually done simply enough to survive the hour and three-quarters of concerns without making any gaffes or mistakes or providing much away.

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Job done, then.

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