From the diary of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s toughest-talking prime minister
A YEAR into the job. Inflation halved thanks to my bold efforts. Braverman finally ditched. And here I am, still trying to make Boris’s bullshit work.
James Cleverly, my new home secretary very much against his will, is furrowing his brow. ‘So £140 million is what, three planefuls to Rwanda? Not even a week’s worth of boats?’
‘Yes,’ I say testily, well ahead of him. ‘So this whole policy doesn’t make any sense at all,’ he says. ‘Which is why you described it as batshit,’ I snap, tired of his act. ‘Don’t deny it, you’re not on Radio 4 now.’
‘Then why,’ he asks, ‘are we wasting our fucking time?’
‘Because it’s a Boris idea,’ I say. ‘A terrible prime minister but a very strong newspaper columnist. Recent work excepted. And because he made a Friday afternoon column about shipping ‘em off to Africa before their feet hit British soil into entirely unworkable policy.’
‘We could just drop it,’ says Cleverly. ‘They love it,’ I say, despairingly. ‘The Mail loves it. The Sun loves it. The Red Wall loves it, we think, who knows what those mad bastards are about.
‘So we’ve got no choice. We’ve got to pretend it’s actually viable. We’re rushing an act through parliament declaring Rwanda to be a safe country. You’re spending Christmas there with your family.
‘If we really force it, ignore the courts, declare that international law doesn’t apply to Britain and risk economic sanctions we can get a flight of refugees over there as early as August.’
‘Then what?’ he asks. ‘Then immigration is solved and we win the election,’ I say. ‘Is that another Boris idea?’ ‘Yes,’ I admit.