An MP has defiantly ripped up a controversial bill during a meeting in the House of Commons.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, tore a copy of the Illegal Migration Bill, which would stop some people from claiming asylum, at the end of her emotional speech during a commons hearing of the bill.

The bill aims to stop people claiming asylum in the UK if they arrive through unauthorised means, such as by a small boat in the English Channel.

The Argus: A view of small boats and engines used to cross the Channel at a warehouse facility in DoverA view of small boats and engines used to cross the Channel at a warehouse facility in Dover (Image: Gareth Fuller / PA)

It has been denounced by the United Nations' refugee agency as an effective "asylum ban".

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: "The Home Secretary, on the face of this bill, invites Parliament to rip up international law.

"The only act of a Parliament that has any kind of moral integrity is to rip up her illegal and immoral bill."

Ms Lucas added: "This Government doesn't care whether the policy works.

"It's about dividing and ruling. It doesn't care about the human beings caught in the crossfire."

The bill was put to the commons, who voted 312 to 250, to give it a majority of 62. This means the bill will see a second reading.

There were heated exchanges involving both sides of the Commons, with some heckled for their language.

The Argus: Protesters gathered in Parliament Square to oppose the billProtesters gathered in Parliament Square to oppose the bill (Image: Victoria Jones / PA)

Caroline Lucas referenced someone who lives in Brighton whose wife and daughters are stranded in Turkey, having fled Afghanistan in 2021.

She said: "“They don't have the documents to apply for a family visa. They aren’t eligible for the ACRS [Afghan Resettlement] scheme.

"They have played by the rules for the last 18 months and they are desperate enough to consider crossing the Channel to be reunited.

"And yet government ministers have not lifted one single finger to help.”

She finished her speech by tearing up her copy of the bill, to jeers from politicians on both sides of the commons.


Get more stories delivered to your inbox every day by signing up to our morning newsletter

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the legislation is needed as people arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel have “overwhelmed our asylum system”, before adding there has been “too much” immigration in recent years.

The bill would enable powers to be granted to detain migrants for 28 days without recourse for bail or judicial review, and then indefinitely for as long as there is a "reasonable prospect" of removal.

The Argus: