Sunak Faces Perilous Holiday as Gloom Grows Over Migration Plans

(Bloomberg) -- Rishi Sunak joked as he switched on the Christmas tree outside 10 Downing Street that it would be nice to “just click a button” and have everything turn out brighter. It was rare light moment in a week in which the prime minister found himself under fire for both the buttons he pushed and those he couldn’t bring himself to press.

Sunak spent much of the week defending a snap decision to cancel a meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the Greek premier repeated calls for the British Museum to return of its prized collection of Parthenon sculptures. One minister privately described it as a massive own-goal that alienated a potential partner against illegal immigration, while another acknowledged the dispute gave Labour leader Keir Starmer his best parliamentary performance to date against Sunak.

“Never mind the British Museum — It’s the prime minister who has obviously lost his marbles,” Starmer said.

But it was a decision that Sunak hasn’t made that fueled the most acrimony among the Conservative Party benches. More than two weeks after promising to respond to a Supreme Court ruling against the party’s plan to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda — a response he said would come “quickly and robustly” — the prime minister hasn’t yet unveiled legislation to save it.