We still want immigration cut – May

Published: Saturday 28th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Home Secretary Theresa May has insisted the Government remains committed to reducing immigration, despite breaking its promise to keep it down.

According to new figures net migration to the UK has risen to 298,000, well above the level David Cameron promised to reduce it to when he came to power in 2010.

In a speech to a party conference in Cardiff today, Mrs May admitted the figures were “disappointing” and blamed a rise in EU migration as well as Liberal Democrat “constraints”.

She said: “The numbers have gone up. The British people and the Government – well, the Conservative Party – want them to come down.

“Back in 2010 we said we wanted to get annual net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. Thanks to net migration from the European Union, which has doubled over the last five years, and thanks to our coalition partners, we haven’t been able to go as far as we’d like.

“So we haven’t met that objective, but be in no doubt we remain committed to reducing immigration.”

Net migration is the difference between the number of people who come to live in the UK for at least a year and the number who are leaving for at least 12 months.

At the highest it was 320,000 in June 2005 and by the time of the 2010 general election the figure stood at 252,000.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said it was “no wonder” people did not trust the immigration system following the Tories’ “broken promises”.

She said: “May’s obsession with the target has led her to target valuable university students, who bring billions into Britain, whilst doing nothing to make the labour market fairer for local workers, preventing undercutting by exploitative employers or putting in place proper border controls so we can count people in and out to enforce the rules.”

During her speech Mrs May also leapt to the defence of the UK’s security services following criticism surrounding the British Islamic State executioner known as Jihadi John.

She added: “You might not see the work they do. You might not know the risks they take. You might not be told about the plots they stop.

“But these remarkable men and women are true heroes. And they deserve the support and respect of every single one of us.”

She said the Conservatives “offer security in a dangerous world” and the threat from IS “is clear”.

“The threat is made even greater by the fact that there are at least 600 British nationals that have gone to Syria and Iraq, many of them to fight,” she said.

Mrs May also used her speech to stick the boot into Neil Kinnock’s son Stephen – who is standing as a Labour candidate in the Welsh constituency of Aberavon.

She told delegates: “If he does get in I’m sure people will wonder why he is the third Kinnock in two generations to sit in Parliament.”

Published: Saturday 28th February 2015 by The News Editor

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