The National:

THE Worst of Westminster's latest edition is out now and you can make sure it drops into your inbox every Friday for free right here.

Covering for Steph Brawn this week as she's on annual leave, political reporter Abbi Garton-Crosbie will take you through what's been happening in London. 

IT has been another busy week in Westminster as the Tories' controversial Illegal Migration Bill made its way through the House of Commons.

But that isn’t everything that’s hit the headlines - so here’s what we have for you this week.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak dubs Scottish Parliament a 'devolved assembly'

No safe and legal route for Sudanese refugees

Home Secretary Suella Braverman - who let's not forget said it was her “dream” to see a photo of asylum seekers leaving the UK on a plane to Rwanda - ruled out any support for those fleeing the conflict in Sudan.

Clashes between Sudan’s military and the country’s main paramilitary force sent thousands fleeing for safety and have killed hundreds of civilians so far.

Yet, still taking a hardline immigration stance, Braverman ruled out the UK helping those fleeing Khartoum once the evacuation of British Nationals had completed.

“We have no plans to do that. Our focus first and foremost right now, and bearing in mind this is a fast-moving situation and a complex situation, is to support British nationals and their dependents,” she said.

READ MORE: Stone of Destiny leaves Scotland for the first time in over 25 years

Illegal Migration Bill breaches “international obligations”

Earlier this week, Braverman also clashed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over the UK Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, after the EHRC said it risks breaching international obligations.

Ahead of the legislation moving to report stage on Tuesday, the EHRC said the bill was unworkable. It would change the law so that anyone who arrived in the UK illegally would not be allowed to remain here.

The ECHR said it “remains seriously concerned that the bill risks placing the UK in breach of its international legal obligations to protect human rights and exposing people to serious harm”.

The Refugee Council and Barnardo’s have estimated the bill could lead to the detention of nearly 15,000 lone migrant children over the next three years.

READ MORE: BBC chairman Richard Sharp resigns following investigation

And, we exclusively revealed how ScotRail drivers could be made enforcers of the UK Government’s asylum ban plans, as it makes it a criminal offence for public transport workers not to cooperate with orders to “restrain and detain” migrants.

You can also see how Scotland’s six Tory MPs voted on the bill before it progressed to the House of Lords.

Lord Frost doesn’t back down, he doubles down

In last week's newsletter, we told how backbench Tory peer Lord David Frost penned a column arguing that the crisis in the SNP was an opportunity to “reverse devolution”.

Despite outrage amongst the ranks of the Scottish Tories, their press office even released a statement distancing themselves from Frost’s comments, the peer appeared on GB News to double down on his comments.

Again taking aim at devolution, Frost said that independence and the SNP have “come close to dismembering” Scotland, and even revealed that there were “sympathisers” in his party who were encouraging him to keep voicing his anti-devolution views.

“It’s time to stop and have a proper debate about, does Scotland need all these powers, does it need these powers to raise taxes, be a semi-independent state on the world stage,” Frost told the Dan Wootton programme.

“I don’t think so. I think it’s reasonable they should have the powers to administer Scotland fairly and reasonably, they don’t need more than that.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown blasted the attack on Scotland’s tax raising powers.

"Westminster's disdain for devolution is ramping up with each day that passes – the Scottish Parliament's limited tax powers are now the next target for the Tories,” Brown told The National.

READ MORE: Scottish Tory MSPs launch 'think tank of sorts' at conference

Andrew Bridgen kicked out of Tory party - eventually

Conspiracy theory-loving MP Andrew Bridgen has been kicked out of the party, following comments he made comparing Covid-19 vaccines to the Holocaust, as well as being found in breach of lobbying rules.

The North West Leicestershire MP took the news well, accused his now former party of kicking him out under “false pretenses”, insisted he would be standing again at the next election, and hit out at “corruption, collusion, and cover-ups”.

Bridgen previously had the whip removed in January, so he was sitting as an independent, but following a recommendation from a disciplinary panel he was booted out of the party completely.

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the comments as “unacceptable”, it took over three months for Bridgen to be kicked out of the party.


  • Labour have been accused of copying the Tories again - after Keir Starmer came out against reforming the voting system used at UK-wide General Elections. By opposing proportional representation (PR), Starmer is going against his own party membership, who endorsed the change at their September 2022 conference.
  • Tory MP Julian Knight is facing fresh sexual assault allegations, it emerged on Friday. Four women have complained to parliamentary authorities about the MP for Solihull after police dropped an investigation into his conduct. The fresh complaints are thought to be about inappropriate comments and behaviour, according to the BBC.
  • And finally, bringing a taste of Westminster chaos to Scotland, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came under fire from the Scottish political lobby after initially refusing to speak to the press. Following his speech opening the Scottish Tory party conference at the SEC in Glasgow, Number 10 hand-picked seven journalists from pro-Union papers to join a huddle, before the lobby rebelled and refused to comply with Downing Street’s terms. Our reporter on the ground Xander Elliards has the inside scoop.