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Amber Rudd Exclusively Confirms Tories WILL Pledge To Drastically Cut Immigration
13 May 2017, 10:22 | Updated: 13 May 2017, 11:25
The Home Secretary exclusively confirmed to Iain Dale that the Conservatives will commit to reducing immigration to the tens of thousands.
It is the first time that she has officially confirmed it will appear in the Tory manifesto, having previously only hinted to the idea.
The Conservatives had pledged to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands in their 2010 manifesto, but have failed to do so.
In this clip Ms Rudd explains how, if elected, the Conservative government would keep their manifesto promise to reduce the annual immigration number from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.
Iain asked: "How can we believe that you can achieve it when you haven't in the last seven years?"
Ms Rudd replied: "I think you'll have to wait until the manifesto comes out to see how the language is couched in what we think we can achieve.
"But it is right to have an aim to show that we are going to be reducing immigration over a period. It's right to make sure that different parts of the government are also committed to this.
"So the parts of government that represent business, that represent the NHS, know that they have to focus as well to train people in the UK.
"To make sure that we grow the skills here wherever possible."
Iain Dale said: "In the last year we've had net immigration of 185,000 from outside the EU. Now you could have controlled that, but you chose not to.
"Again, why should we believe this pledge when you haven't achieved it before?"
The Home Secretary said: "Well we've actually taken a lot of significant and important steps to bring down the number coming from outside the EU.
"We've introduced a skills charge of £10,000 per head of people coming in for tier two jobs to make sure that we use that money to build the skills in the UK.
"But it also makes people think twice, perhaps, about whether they want to recruit from outside the EU. We're raising the salary levels for people who need to come in.
"We're taking steps to make sure that we always encourage employers to look locally, although we will also make sure that where they need to recruit from outside of the EU, particularly on the highly skilled level, they can do so."
Iain Dale: "Do you actually accept that immigration is actually a good thing? Because all the language that we hear from Conservative politicians suggest that we don't think that."
Amber Rudd replied: "Well I don't accept that. Most of us always couch our language by saying Immigration is a positive for the UK. We want to attract the brightest and the best .
"We do recognise too, that it can't be uncontrolled, and does upset when it comes in large numbers, certain communities. I've had some MPs coming to talk to me about that, Labour as well as Conservative."
She went on: "I hope that we can continue to attract the brightest and the best, who will help build our businesses, strengthen our economy, while also making sure that we keep that number coming down at the moment."
Iain said: "What can you do that Theresa May didn't do when she was Home Secretary?"
Ms Rudd replied: "I hope to build on her very successful legacy as Home Secretary."
Iain added: "But it's not a successful legacy in terms of this regard, is it? Because she didn't achieve her aims."
Ms Rudd responded: "Well the last figures for net migration show that it came down by 50,000...but we have always that reducing immigration to the tens of thousands will take some time.
"The fact is it is coming down, there has been good work being done, there's a lot of bogus colleges, nearly a 1,000 I think, were closed under her tenure.
"So we have to make sure that we continue to build on those successes, to do that difficult thing of attracting the brightest and the best to work in our businesses, in our universities, also making sure that we reduce the numbers overall."