The Tories have let us all down badly on immigration and they DESERVE to be punished, says MICHAEL HEAVER

Rishi Sunak immigration

Rishi Sunak's Tories have failed to stop mass migration into Britain

Michael  Heaver

By Michael Heaver

Published: 09/12/2023

- 13:26

In this GB News members-only article, Community Editor Michael Heaver analyses the Conservative Government's latest immigration announcement

Some in Westminster have chosen to consistently delude themselves that, when it comes to immigration, the public aren't bothered about the numbers.

That is an absurd miscalculation that has now been brutally exposed.

Just look at YouGov's latest top issues tracker, where for Conservative voters immigration and asylum is now the most important issue, ahead even of the economy.

Migration and control of borders was the defining issue of the Brexit referendum campaign. Those who deny that fact are either being dishonest or are delusional.

Former Conservative Leaders like David Cameron and Theresa May had long spoken out in favour of reducing net migration down to the 'tens of thousands'.

Inside the European Union with open borders, they couldn't deliver.

Post-Brexit, the Conservative Government has chosen not only not to reduce migration, but to actually allow levels - through both legal routes and those illegally crossing the channel, either on small boats or in the back of lorries - to soar to new highs.

The end result has been a huge population surge, placing massive pressure on public services and damaging the quality of life for those in this country. Just look at the NHS: However many hundreds of billions are poured in, it simply cannot keep up with the ever-increasing demands of a surging population - meaning taxpayers shell out more and more money every year for a service that keeps getting worse.

Net annual migration deep into the hundreds of thousands has been damaging and irresponsible. And for the last 13 years it has taken place on the Conservative Party's watch.

We've seen recently a significant switch in support to Reform UK - with one in 10 voters now saying they will support them - from former Tory supporters clearly furious off at the Government's lack of direction.

So, right on cue, we saw the big announcement from Home Secretary James Cleverly, the Government's five point plan to reduce net migration.

But pledging a big cut to levels of migration AFTER you've ramped them up is hardly revolutionary. And will come nowhere near to the 'tens of thousands' pledge the Conservatives used to talk about - hence Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick quitting this week.

In his resignation letter, he said: "I refuse to be yet another politician who makes promises on immigration to the British public but does not keep them." Well, quite.

On the day of the Government's latest migration announcement, GB News Political Editor Christopher summed up the Tory approach like this: "The question for voters: Is net migration into the UK of 372,000 a year - the figure it will fall to after the measures announced by Home Secretary James Cleverly today - acceptable?"

With a General Election on the horizon and immigration set to be a defining issue during the campaign, voters will soon be able to give their own verdict on whether Rishi Sunak's proposal to limit net migration every year to around 400,000 - a city the size of Leicester - goes far enough or not.