Shades of Suella: Immigration minister admits working closely with Braverman on tough new migrant crackdown

5 December 2023, 08:13 | Updated: 5 December 2023, 08:40

Suella Braverman was closely involved in the new migrant plans
Suella Braverman was closely involved in the new migrant plans. Picture: Alamy/LBC/ONS

By Will Taylor

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has admitted working "closely" with Suella Braverman to produce a tough new clamp down on legal migration.

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He admitted the plans, which include beefing up the minimum salary needed move to the UK to £38,700, were developed with the deposed home secretary, who has made tackling migration figures one of her top causes.

Rishi Sunak's government unveiled its plan to curb arrivals after net migration rose to almost 750,000 jn 2022.

"Suella and I worked on this very closely, as you know," Mr Jenrick told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

"We developed a set of proposals and then discussed those with all the other departments who are interested in this, as you'd expect, and with the prime minister.

Read more: ‘Enough is enough’: Ministers outline five-point plan to slash migration by 300,000

Watch again 05/11: Nick Ferrari is joined by Robert Jenrick

"So many different people have been involved in this set of proposals, and I think it commands broad support throughout the Conservative Party, and, I hope, the public will see this is the government getting a grip on this important issue."

The Tories unveiled a five point plan on Monday which the party hopes will allow it to be viewed as tough on migration ahead of a general election, despite soaring levels of arrivals.

Read more: Sunak and Starmer both refuse to commit to triple-lock continuing after next election

The minimum salary threshold for a visa has been hiked from £26,200 to £38,700, some £3,000 above the median British salary.

Overseas care workers will be stopped from bringing their dependants and the immigration health surcharge will rise to £1,035 from £624.

Suella Braverman helped develop the migrant plan, according to Robert Jenrick
Suella Braverman helped develop the migrant plan, according to Robert Jenrick. Picture: Alamy

A 20% salary discount for jobs on the shortage occupation list will be scrapped, and the list itself will be reviewed and chopped down.

Graduate visa routes will also be reviewed.

"You can’t simply have a country in which hundreds of thousands of people come in every year to do these jobs," Mr Jenrick said.

"That puts almost untold pressure on housing, public services, and so on.

"I think most reasonable people can understand that and support that."

Mr Sunak said it was right people were angry at the soaring immigration numbers and added: "Enough is enough — it's time to get control of immigration once and for all."

Migrant figures are soaring
Migrant figures are soaring. Picture: ONS

The new home secretary, James Cleverly, said 300,000 fewer people would have arrived last year if these new measures had been in place. They will be imposed from Spring.

He his visiting Rwanda to shore up a new treaty with the country as the government looks to change the law and ensure its scheme, which would see illegal arrivals deported to the country to claim asylum there, will be acceptable to the courts.

Getting the planes off the tarmac is, like the migrant crack down, another bone thrown to the right of the Tory party.

There were suspicions Ms Braverman could lead a right-wing backlash against Mr Sunak's premiership, with a possible view to taking over as leader.

And Mr Sunak himself was seen as moving more to the centre ground as she left his cabinet and he brought in David Cameron as foreign secretary.

But the PM appears to be using this week to set out his toughest stance on immigration yet, saying that "too often politicians haven’t been willing to take the hard decisions to deliver on those promises".