Tory MP says party is 'insane' as Sunak refuses to commit to net migration pledge
Published: 18/05/2023- 20:36
Updated: 18/05/2023- 20:45
Tory MP Adam Holloway has slammed his own party, describing them as "insane" after Rishi Sunak backed away from their election pledge to reduce net migration.
Speaking to Nigel Farage on GB News, the backbencher said the Conservative party's electoral prospects are "shattered".
As the Prime Minister travelled to Japan for the G7 summit, he was asked three times whether he still stood by the manifesto pledge that "overall numbers will come" down.
At the time of the 2019 election, net migration stood at just over 250,000 but figures set to be published next week, are expected to show the figure hit 700,000 people last year.
Figures set to be published next week, are expected to show the net migration figure hit 700,000 people last year
Sunak could only say he wanted to bring "down legal migration" and refused to say whether he was committed to lowering it from 2019 levels.
"It's completely insane. I mean, who would have thought that a Conservative Government would be drawing millions more people into the higher rate tax bracket?", Holloway told Farage.
"Who would think that a Conservative Government was presiding over effectively uncontrolled immigration?
"I mean, of course, the boats, which you, by the way, have done so much to highlight, those are big numbers, but 46,000 is a lot smaller number than nearly a million.
"I mean, if net migration over the last few years has been about 300,000 a year, that's like five parliamentary constituencies of new people every year. Over ten years, that's nearly 50 parliamentary constituencies in terms of people."
He added: "I know that at least a group of us are asking to see the Home Secretary next week, because it's not just about the Tory Party's electoral prospects that are shattered by this.
"But it's actually about the shape and the feel of our country going forward.
"It's about public services and every single MP, not just Conservative, should be looking at this. What's the point of being in office if you don't do the right thing when you actually have the power."
The Prime Minister was asked three times whether he still stood by the manifesto pledge that 'overall numbers will come' down
It comes after leader of the Labour party Keir Starmer accused the Tories of losing control of migration last week.
Speaking to journalists on his way to Japan, the Prime Minister acknowledged he had "inherited some numbers".
He said: "I've said I do want to bring legal migration down. I think illegal migration is undoubtedly the country's priority, and you can see all the work I'm putting into that.
"But on legal migration as well, we are committed to bringing those numbers down."