Cleverly to hold crunch talks with furious Tory MPs as Government prepares new migration plan


James Cleverly is meeting with Conservative MPs this evening to brief backbenchers on the Government's migration plans, GB News understands

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 28/11/2023

- 09:07

Updated: 28/11/2023

- 09:47

The Home Secretary is understood to be briefing MPs on the Government's plans to tackle soaring migration numbers tonight

James Cleverly is meeting with Conservative MPs this evening to brief backbenchers on the Government's migration plans, GB News understands.

This comes amid mounting fury over growing numbers of arrivals to the UK, through both legal and illegal routes.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics published last week showed that net migration soared to 745,000 last year, a record figure.

This came just one week after the Government's flagship plan to tackle illegal migration, the Rwanda pact, was deemed illegal by the Supreme Court.

WATCH: James Cleverly says nothing in Rwanda ruling dims party's commitment

Backbench MPs are growing increasingly frustrated with the Government's failure to tackle the problem, despite manifesto pledges to cut numbers.

The figures represent a dramatic increase from pre-Brexit immigration levels, with net migration for the year ending June 2015 - the year before the UK voted to leave the EU - at 336,000.

While many MPs, including Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, are in favour of pursuing all options to make the Rwanda scheme work, Cleverly has indicated reluctance after he urged people not to "fixate" on the plans.

He also said that leaving the European Convention on Human Rights - a policy which has been pushed by Jenrick and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman - would undermine attempts to stop the boats.

The Government is expected to unveil plans to tackle legal migration and to get the Rwanda scheme off the ground in the coming weeks.

Jenrick is said to be pushing a five-point plan to tackle migration, which would see the salary threshold for work visas increase, along with a clampdown on the number of dependents.

His plan includes proposals that were made by Braverman before she was sacked - and supposedly ignored by Sunak.

Meanwhile, the New Conservatives - a group of 2019 MPs - launched a scathing intervention on migration, warning Sunak the issue is "do or die" for the party and demanding "immediate and massive" action to meet the party’s manifesto pledge to reduce numbers.

After the figures were released, Braverman launched a public intervention, describing the latest figures as a "slap in the face to the British public".

Warning: "Enough is enough", the Home Secretary suggested Rishi Sunak had blocked measures to prevent migration, which she claimed she had been "pushing for" when she was in the Home Office.

But, asked about net migration figures, a Government minister suggested that Braverman was to blame.

They told GB News: "That's really a question for current and former home secretaries including Suella Braverman. She's levelled criticism when actually she was the person responsible".

Last week, the Prime Minister's official spokesperson said the Government is "actively considering" measures to curb net migration.

But they played down speculation over a package being ready by this week.

The official admitted that net migration to the UK is too high, vowing to leave "no stone unturned" to tackle the issue.

The Home Office and No 10 Downing Street declined to comment.

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