Tories admit they risk being WIPED OUT at next election and demand urgent plan: 'It's do or die!'

Tories admit they risk being WIPED OUT at next election and demand urgent plan: 'It's do or die!'

A group of Conservative MPs has admitted that the party is facing an "existential" threat at the next election

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 23/11/2023

- 10:44

Updated: 23/11/2023

- 16:08

The New Conservative group published a statement today, warning that the situation is 'existential'

A group of Conservative MPs has admitted that the party is facing an "existential" threat at the next election, demanding the Government publish a plan to tackle migration today.

This came after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the net migration figures for the UK this morning.

Net migration reached 672,000, an increase of 65,000. This exceeds last year's figures, which reached a record level of 606,000.

The Conservative Party under David Cameron was elected in 2010 on a manifesto pledge to bring net migration down to below 100,000.

WATCH: Richard Tice takes aim at legal migration numbers

In a statement published after the figures were released, the New Conservative Group of MPs - led by MPs Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger - said: "At the last election, every Conservative MP was elected on a solemn promise to reduce net migration, which in 2019 stood at 229,000 per year.

"Since then, in poll after poll, the public has made clear that they are prepared to support tough measures to clamp down on overall migration numbers: legal and illegal".

The group accused the Government of "largely ignoring" measures they have proposed, saying: "Many on our benches have warned that we were failing to make adequate progress on our promise".

Taking a direct swipe at Sunak, the group said: "Today, we see the result of these conscious decisions by Government. Net migration has not only failed to fall since 2019, it has trebled. A million new people from abroad were added to the UK population last year. Across every single category of immigration, numbers are on the rise.

"We cannot blame exceptional circumstances, this is a constant trend. It has been caused directly by the policy decisions of this Government. And it has gone on for far too long."

The statement adds: "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."

MP Jonathan Gullis, a member of the New Conservatives, described the figures as being "completely unacceptable to the majority of the British people", demanding "drastic action now to bring legal migration down, as well as stopping the boats".

He told GB News: “The Prime Minister and Home Secretary should look at the ideas of the New Conservatives in order to get these numbers down quickly.

Meanwhile, Tory MP Phillip Davies told GB News: "The net migration figures are far far too high.

"We do not have the infrastructure to cope and we certainly don’t have the housing stock to accommodate it. It is absolutely essential these numbers come down substantially as a matter of priority."

“Three things that can be done immediately are increasing the salary threshold for the main skilled work visa to a minimum of £38,000, extend the closure of the student dependant route to those enrolled on one year research Master’s degrees, and raise the minimum combined income threshold for sponsoring a spouse.”

Today's numbers 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.

Other Tory MPs have also publicly criticised the numbers, with former Conservative minister Simon Clarke called for an "urgent change of approach".

He wrote on X: "This level of legal immigration is unsustainable both economically and socially.

"There is no public mandate for it, it is beyond our public services’ capacity to support and it undercuts UK productivity and wages by substituting cheaper foreign labour.

"We need an urgent change of approach. The earnings threshold for visa applications needs to be raised significantly.

"The shortage occupations list needs to be radically descoped. As set out by the Chancellor, we need to ensure more Britons are supported into work."

Former Health Minister Neil O'Brien said: "Here's net migration since 1947. In every election since 1992 we have promised to reduce migration.

"Today's extraordinary numbers mean the PM must now take immediate and massive action to do just that."

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