North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin was among Conservatives who helped get the Government's Rwanda Bill over the line last night (December 12).

But Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman did not vote in the division, seen as a key test of the government's immigration policy.

The ConservativeHome website lists Mr Norman as among 38 Tory MPs who abstained - though it points out that while many did so "out of opposition to the Bill, some will have missed the vote for other reasons".


Mr Norman did not respond when asked why he did not vote.

However his likely Green Party opponent in next year's expected general election Coun Diana Toynbee pointed out on Twitter that in June last year, Mr Norman had described the Rwanda policy as "ugly, likely to be counterproductive and of doubtful legality", in his letter of no confidence in then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The bill, passed by 313 votes to 269, is intended to deter illegal migrants from crossing the English channel or arriving in the UK by other means.

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The government's proposed solution of deporting them to the African country while their asylum applications are considered has so far been thwarted by the courts.

The issue has become a test of the electoral credibility of Rishi Sunak, who made "stopping the boats" one of his main pledges when he became prime minister in October last year.