Steve Barclay says migrant numbers ‘are too high’ and more needs to be done

Steve Barclay says migrant numbers ‘are too high’ and more needs to be done
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 29/11/2023

- 11:04

He also denied that there was a conflict of interest being Environment Secretary while his wife is director of a water company

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has said migrant numbers “are too high” but insisted that the Government has been taking action to reduce the figures.

He told GB News: “We all recognise in Cabinet that we need to get the numbers down that the numbers are too high…we've already taken action in terms of student dependents, closing that route will reduce the number by 150,000.

“As Health Secretary, I increased the immigration surcharge so that those coming in are paying more to contribute to the NHS, but all of those things are steps we've taken, clearly we need to do more.

“I fully support the Home Secretary in taking tough action to bring those numbers down. But there are things we have been doing already.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, he denied there was a conflict of interest in him being Environment Secretary while his wife is director of Anglian Water.

He said: “I think most people realise in the 21st century women are entitled to her own careers and spouses. The propriety and ethics these things are all disclosed, propriety and ethics have looked at that and they sort of have cleared all that, so everything has been looked at, everything's transparent

“But I want to take a very tough line in terms of the water companies. That's why we put in place the unlimited fines. We've got over 90% of sewage overflows now being monitored by the end of the year, that will be 100%.”

He also announced £25 million funding for the restoration of rural habitats : “It's also important to look at some of the other things that really matter to people and the natural landscape, how we restore nature, how we give people access to nature is really important.

“The £25 million that we're announcing today to restore 34 habitats is really important. Having disadvantaged children able to access nature with a scheme that we're launching and continuing today, the two new community forests in Tees Valley and South Derbyshire will be hugely welcomed in those areas.”


Latest Politics videos

Don't Miss

Best of Politics

Latest videos

More videos