‘I’m a Big Fan of Immigration’: Javid Calls to Scrap Tens of Thousands Target in Leadership Pitch

British
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
JOE MARKHAM

Home Secretary and would be Prime Minister Sajid Javid has said he would abandon the immigration pledge that despite being promised at three general elections, the government has never made any serious effort to achieve.

In an interview for LBC radio, Sajid Javid announced his plans to scrap the manifesto pledge to reduce net immigration flows to the “tens of thousands” level — taken to mean 99,999 or less a year. The promise had been made in the 2010, 2015, and 2017 Conservative Party manifestos — the document of policies published by political parties to let citizens know what they are voting for — but despite that immigration has continued to rise.

When the Conservatives took power in 2010 net migration stood at 256,000, and they had let it rise to 332,000 by the time they next stood on the same immigration policy in 2015.

The Home Secretary — one of a pack of politicians presently vying to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and hence Prime Minister — argued that in his opinion voters were not concerned with the raw numbers of migrants coming into the country. He said: “I’m a big fan of immigration.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re from India or France, you’re treated the same. From speaking to people, they’re concerned with having control over immigration rather than crude numbers.”

Former Chancellor George Osborne, now no longer a Member of Parliament and working as the editor of the London Evening Standard infamously let the cat out of the bag about the lies told by his government over immigration. Breitbart London reported when he wrote about how the party never had any intention of honouring the pledge.

He said: “[N]one of [the Cabinet’s] senior members supports the pledge in private and all would be glad to see the back of something that has caused the Conservative Party such public grief”.

“Over the past seven years, the Government has not been able to reduce significantly the numbers of non-Europeans coming here — though we could,” he went on to say. Osborne explained they believed it would damage the economy to attempt to control immigration, that limiting controversial family reunion visas would be “unpalatable”, and “few thought we were taking in too many refugees”.

A recent report revealed the government’s immigration policy post-Brexit is likely to exacerbate the immigration situation. Commenting on the new proposals, the head of the campaign group Migration Watch said: “These are shocking proposals which run completely against the current of public opinion and which are likely to result in even more massive levels of immigration.”

Mr Javid’s proposals may not win him the support he hopes, however, as a recent survey by the Centre-right think tank Onward found that a majority of people in every demographic — including ethnic minority groups and young voters — in the country want immigration reduced.

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