Iain Duncan Smith urges Rishi Sunak to deliver ‘key’ ECHR message: ‘Elephant in the room’

Iain Duncan Smith urges Rishi Sunak to deliver ‘key’ ECHR message: ‘Elephant in the room’

Iain Duncan Smith looks ahead to Rishi Sunak's Tory conference speech

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 03/10/2023

- 20:37

Suella Braverman has warned about a 'hurricane' of illegal migrants

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has called on Rishi Sunak to deliver a “key message” on migration in his keynote Conservative Party conference speech.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman delivered a speech on the “hurricane” of migrants reaching British shores, but has drawn criticism for her lack of focus on the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights).

The court has so far prevented Rishi Sunak’s plan to impose a measure aimed at preventing illegal migrants from making perilous trips across the English Channel.

An 11th hour intervention prevented Sunak’s Rwanda deportation plan, which would have seen migrants sent to the African country.

Iain Duncan Smith and Rishi Sunak

Iain Duncan Smith has called on Rishi Sunak to deliver a 'key' message


The ECHR’s interjection has prompted many to question the UK’s membership of the European court, with judges in Strasbourg judging on the country’s law.

Speaking on GB News, Iain Duncan Smith said he expects Rishi Sunak to address the matter after Braverman appeared to avoid it.


“I would be surprised if Rishi Sunak doesn’t say something”, he said.

“It’s one of the big elephants in the room. We have a pledge to stop the boats, the only way is deterring people from taking that route.

“The first flight that leaves is when the public knows ‘this will happen’, across Europe, lots of governments are saying the ECHR is not fit for problem.

“The key question is, we have to make the decision whether to leave on our own.”

Iain Duncan Smith speaks to Nigel Farage on GB News

Iain Duncan Smith looked ahead to Rishi Sunak's speech


Farage questioned Duncan Smith over whether the Parliamentary Tories are “overwhelmingly” in favour of remaining a part of the ECHR.

Some Cabinet members such as Tom Tugendhat and Victoria Atkins believe the move could prompt questions over human rights.

Iain Duncan Smith said: “Human rights are very important. We want to uphold them and we have a proud record of doing that.

“We have to take the necessary action. There’s three or four ways of doing it but I hope tomorrow he will be clear.

“If Rwanda is overturned, there is stage two to go to, and we will take that stage.

“He has to be clear about that.”

Farage added to his criticism of Braverman, saying the Home Secretary could have “hinted” at a potential addressing of the matter from Rishi Sunak.

The former Tory leader, defending Braverman, commented: “There’s an old Teddy Roosevelt saying, ‘speak softly, and carry a big stick’.

“The big stick has to be tomorrow.”

You may like