Rishi Sunak has declined to say when he will fulfil his promise of stopping small boat crossings but denied it is on hold while the Rwanda policy is grounded by court challenges.

In a cagy but unenlightening appearance at the Commons Liaison Committee, the Prime Minister also claimed he is “throwing everything at” tackling inflation, as he struggles to achieve his key five priorities on the six-month anniversary of setting them.

Facing questions from senior MPs, Mr Sunak denied he has no plan B if the Supreme Court does not overturn the ruling blocking the forceful removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

He told the Liaison Committee that Tory ministers will challenge the appeals court judgment “confidently and vigorously”.

Following the ruling by the Court of Appeal last week, Mr Sunak said: "While I respect the court, I fundamentally disagree with their conclusions."

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Home Affairs chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson asked: “So you’re betting everything on the Rwanda policy being upheld in the Supreme Court?”

Mr Sunak replied: “No, that’s not a fair characterisation of what we’re doing.”

Asked if his pledge to “stop the boats” is on hold, he said: “No, and a good example of why it’s not on hold is our deal with Albania.”

But pressed on when he will achieve it, Mr Sunak said: “The court will have to determine its own ruling and that’s outside the Government’s hands.

“But in the meantime we can get on with a range of other things.”

Mr Sunak insisted last month his plan was “starting to work” before official figures showed it was the busiest June on record for migrant crossings.

The extra 3,824 detected people arriving after crossing the Channel on small boats pushed the total so far this year to 11,434.

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Another of his “people’s priorities” set in January is halving the rate of inflation this year to around 5%. The latest figures have it stuck at 8.7%.

Mr Sunak told MPs: “It’s clearly proving more persistent than people anticipated.”

Asked what percentage he would put on his goal, he said: “I don’t have one for you. I’m working 100% to deliver it and we will keep doing it.

“That’s all I can do, is just keep throwing everything at it.”

In January, the Prime Minister also pledged to reduce national debt – which has reached more than 100% of economic output for the first time since 1961 as Government borrowing swells.

Growing the economy was another priority, but the economy is flatlining and the Bank of England is still hiking interest rates, risking the chances of a recession.

Mr Sunak also defended his absence from the vote on whether Boris Johnson lied to Parliament.

The Prime Minister was challenged about his decision to miss the vote to attend a Jewish Care dinner, even though other MPs at the event managed to make it back to the Commons to take part.

Standards Committee chairman Sir Chris Bryant clashed with the Prime Minister over his attendance in the Commons chamber.

Sir Chris challenged Mr Sunak over his failure to deliver a major NHS statement in Parliament and missing the next two sessions of Prime Minister’s Questions.

He also questioned him on his absence from votes on the conduct of Owen Paterson and Mr Johnson.

“We are talking about your respect for Parliament,” Sir Chris said.

Mr Sunak said: “I have always tried to announce what I can in Parliament.”

On his decision to miss the vote on whether Mr Johnson lied to MPs in order to attend the Jewish Care dinner event, he said: “I chose to fulfil my obligation to an incredible charity, for whom that is one of their significant fundraising moments of the year.”

He told the Liaison Committee: “I chose to fulfil my obligation to an incredible charity, for whom that is one of their significant fundraising moments of the year.”

Mr Sunak also said he had not fully read a Privileges Committee report on allies of Mr Johnson seeking to undermine the work of the panel during its investigation into the former prime minister.

Tory peer Lord Goldsmith quit as a minister after Mr Sunak asked him to apologise after being named in the report.

The Prime Minister said: “I’ve read the findings of the report, I haven’t read the report yet cover to cover.”

Asked if the Tory MPs named in the report should apologise, Mr Sunak said there was a difference because of Lord Goldsmith’s position as a minister.