Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservative party of “breaking promises” on lowering migration.
During the Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session in House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament, on Wednesday, Starmer said: “The prime minister stood on three Tory manifestos, each one promising to reduce immigration. Each promise was broken.”
In the 2019 election manifesto, the Conservatives pledged to bring down the net migration to 250,000. In 2021/22, net migration was 504,000. When this year's figure is announced on Thursday, it is expected to top a staggering 700,000. The figures are generally announced in the middle of each year.
Responding to Starmer, Sunak said the Labour Party has "no ideas" on migration.
Sunak said the government has come up with the biggest initiative this week to reduce migration, pointing to a new policy that bars most students from bringing their families to the UK. With the new policy, students will no longer be able to switch to work visas unless they have completed their courses.
Starmer said more than 250,000 work visas were issued last year and the reason behind the surge is labor and skill shortages.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman sat next to Rishi Sunak during PMQs after days of speculation over whether she would keep her post after overspeeding fine allegations. The prime minister's ethics adviser decided on Wednesday that she did not breach the ministerial code.
Braverman was caught overspeeding in June 2022, while she was attorney general, and given the option of three penalty points or a group speed awareness course. She later accepted a fine and penalty points on her driving license for the speeding offense.
Opposition parties had called for an inquiry into whether she had breached ministerial rules.
Sunak said while action could have been taken to avoid "the perception of impropriety," he was nevertheless reassured that Braverman took "these matters seriously" and had "expressed regret."