The Prime Minister has been told by Tory MPs in a strongly worded statement to “act now” as net migration hits record highs.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures shows that net migration in the year to December 2022 was much higher than previously thought as official figures show that net migration has hit a record high of 745,000.
A right-wing New Conservative group of MPs have demanded immediate action from Rishi Sunak and the Home Secretary James Cleverly.
The right-wing New Conservative group led by Miriam Cates, Danny Kruger and Sir John Hayes, warned, “The word ‘existential’ has been used a lot in recent days but this really is ‘do or die’ for our party.
“Each of us made a promise to the electorate. We don’t believe that such promises can be ignored.
“The Government must propose, today, a comprehensive package of measures to meet the manifesto promise by the time of the next election. We will assess any such package and report publicly on whether it will meet the promise made to the electorate.
“The Prime Minister, Chancellor, and new Home Secretary must show that they stand by the promises on which we were elected to Parliament. We must act now.”
Cleverly said, “This figure is not showing a significant increase from last year’s figures and is largely in line with our own immigration statistics.
“The Government remains completely committed to reducing levels of legal migration while at the same time focusing relentlessly on our priority of stopping the boats.”
Emma Rourke, ONS deputy national statistician, said: “Our most recent migration statistics are always provisional and supported by assumptions around whether we think people will stay 12 months or more.
“We are responding to changes in a highly volatile world and our revisions reflect the unexpected patterns arising from that unpredictability. This will continue to influence our measures of uncertainty.”
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said, “These figures are driven by a 54% increase in work visas and a 156% increase in health and social care visas which prove the Conservatives’ abysmal record on skills, training and workforce planning, as they have run our economy into the ground.
“They are still failing to make changes Labour has called for to end the 20% wage discount in the immigration system and to link it to training requirements.
“The Tories have broken the asylum system with the number of asylum seekers in hotels now at a record high of 56,000 – over 10,000 more than when Rishi Sunak promised to end hotel use – and costing almost £3 billion a year. Once again, the British taxpayer is footing the bill for the Conservatives’ chaos.”