Rishi Sunak has insisted his party is “completely united” and has “come together” over his flagship Rwanda policy, despite a week of rebellions and resignations.

In a press conference on Thursday morning, the Prime Minister also urged the House of Lords to “do the right thing” and back the emergency law, describing it as the "will of the people."

But he faces a significant challenge.

Lord Carlile, a former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, described the policy as “a step towards totalitarianism.”

READ MORE: Sunak survives as Rwanda rebellion melts away

Despite 60 of his MPs attempting to toughen the Bill up by backing rebel amendments, the law passed through the Commons on Wednesday, with only 11 Tory MPs defying the whip to vote against it.

The decision to back Mr Sunak came at an eleventh-hour meeting of around 45 right-wing Tory MPs in Parliament, with rebels worried that defeating the bill “would topple the government.”

At a press conference in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “It’s now time for the Lords to pass this Bill. This is an urgent national priority.

“The treaty with Rwanda is signed and the legislation which deems Rwanda a safe country has been passed unamended in our elected chamber.

“There is now only one question. Will the opposition in the appointed House of Lords try and frustrate the will of the people as expressed by the elected House? Or will they get on board and do the right thing?”

Mr Sunak has made the Rwanda policy – first proposed in 2022 while Boris Johnson was in Number 10 – central to his premiership.

Under the plan, migrants who cross the Channel in small boats could be sent to Rwanda rather than being allowed to seek asylum in the UK.

The legislation, along with a recently-signed treaty with Kigali, is aimed at ensuring the scheme is legally watertight after a Supreme Court ruling against it last year.

But backbench right-wingers had urged Mr Sunak to toughen up the Bill to sideline Strasbourg judges and ignore any so-called Rule 39 orders from the European Court of Human Rights that would ground flights for asylum seekers.

Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith both resigned as deputy chairs of the party to vote for the amendments which would have disapplied international law. 

READ MORE: Lee Anderson resigns as Tory deputy chair over Rwanda plan

Mr Sunak told reporters ministers had moved as quickly as possible to get the legislation through the Commons.

“We are not messing around here,” he said.

Reports emerged earlier that some Tory MPs have submitted no-confidence letters in Mr Sunak. 

However, the Prime Minister rejected suggestions he is the “wrong man for the job”.

“I’m interested in sticking with the plan I set out for the British people because that plan is working,” he said.

He also downplayed any prospect of the UK seeking a refund from Kigali if the Government fails to send any migrants to the East African country, after Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame appeared to suggest British taxpayers’ money could be repaid if the deal fails.

“I’m fighting every day to get the flights off to Rwanda,” Mr Sunak told reporters.

More than 600 migrants have now arrived in the UK this month, with 358 of those crossing in eight boats on Wednesday.

Asked about the policy during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Carlile was scathing. He said: “We’ve seen in various countries the damage that is done when governments use perceived and often ill-judged political imperatives to place themselves above the courts – this is a step towards totalitarianism and an attitude that the United Kingdom usually deprecates.

“I think you’ll find that many of the lawyers in the House of Lords will say this is a step too far, this is illegitimate interference by politics with the law, on an issue that can be solved in other ways.”