Priti Patel today vowed to stop people 'taking our country for a ride' by overhauling the 'broken' asylum system and cracking down on migrant crossings.
The Home Secretary pledged the 'biggest overhaul in decades' as she warned that the current arrangements are not 'firm or fair'.
In her keynote speech to Tory conference, Ms Patel said that toughening enforcement and preventing abuse of the rules was the best way to 'protect the vulnerable'.
The Cabinet minister also lashed out at Labour MPs berating her over her strong stance on law and order issues, saying she would not change tack just because she did not 'conform' to their idea of the views ethnic minorities should hold.
Ms Patel told the conference, being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, that 'do gooders and lefty lawyers and the Labour Party' had to stop 'defending the indefensible' on asylum system.
'We will protect those most in need and put the rights of those who respect the rules above those who take our country for a ride,' she said.
The impassioned speech came after a furious row over the leaking of 'blue sky' ideas for reforming asylum arrangements and stemming migrant crossings.
Proposals have been floated including introducing a processing centre on Ascension Island, 4,000 miles away, and even using wave machines in the Channel.
However, government sources have insisted the ideas were only ever considered in brainstorming sessions, and complained that they are being leaked to damage ministers.
In her keynote speech to Tory conference, Ms Patel said that toughening enforcement and preventing abuse of the rules was the best way to 'protect the vulnerable'
Border Force brings a group of would-be migrants back to shore in the Channel last month
Ms Patel said that under the Conservatives the UK 'has and always will provide sanctuary when the lights are being switched off on people's liberties'.
'A fair asylum system should provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny,' she said.
'But ours doesn't. Because our asylum system is fundamentally broken. And we have a responsibility to act.'
Ms Patel said: 'From the expulsion of Ugandan Asians from a