Prime Minister tackles questions on latest immigration figures
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing backlash over his management of the UK’s borders after UK migration reached a record high of more than 600,000 last year.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show a total of 1.2 million people moved to the UK in 2022 compared to 557,000 who left. The net migration to the UK was 606,000, up from a previous high of 488,000 in 2021.
Mr Sunak told ITV’s This Morning on Thursday, May 25: “We’ve got to be sensitive to the needs of the [National Health Service], the economy, but fundamentally the numbers are too high – I’m bringing them down.”
When asked if he thought the figures were out of control Mr Sunak said: “No, I think the numbers are just too high”. Yet he did not state what the ideal number would be.
In his 2010 general election campaign former Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to get net migration below 100,000 a year. Meanwhile, in 2019 former Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to bring overall figures to below 245,000.
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Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper claimed that Mr Sunak had lost control: “The Conservatives’ chaotic approach means that work visas are up 119 percent, net migration is more than twice the level ministers were aiming for, and the asylum backlog is at a record high despite Sunak promising to clear it this year.”
Former UKIP leader and Brexiteer Nigel Farage described the figures as “a total breach of trust between voters and this Government”.
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