Boris Johnson thrown under the bus over net migration figures by Kemi Badenoch

Sir John Hayes outlines the scale of net migration to Britain

Boris Johnson has been accused of hypocrisy after putting forward changes that would bring down Britain’s record net migration numbers.

Writing in the Mail on Friday evening, the former Prime Minister suggested imposing a minimum income of £40,000 for those wanting to secure a UK work visa, a similar figure to that being demanded by Suella Braverman.

Kemi Badenoch criticised Mr Johnson this morning, however, pointing out the record-high migration figures took place on his watch.

Revised ONS figures said 745,000 net migrants entered the country in 2022, largely while Mr Johnson was in No. 10 and partly as a result of policies implemented by his administration.

While Ms Badenoch refused to say whether she supported increasing the salary threshold for migrants, she pointed out: “The figures that we’re looking at are ones that came out while he was Prime Minister!

READ MORE: Boris Johnson mounts pressure on Rishi Sunak with £40,000 migrant plan

“The points-based system was one that he brought in.”

She argued Rishi Sunak and the Home Secretary are “working hard to make sure we bring it down”.

“This is something that concerns us all. Migration as we are seeing – in terms of net migration – is too high.

“We need to make sure we bring in people who want to come into this country at a sustainable level.”

Mr Johnson admitted in his Mail column that the immigration system he introduced after leaving the EU had allowed too many low-skilled migrants to come to the UK.

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He also warned that a failure to reduce number could lead to a far-right surge, and replicate scenes seen recently in Dublin.

“Yes, of course we have a problem with immigration on this scale, and these ­numbers are way, way too big.

“People will not accept demographic change at this kind of pace — even in the most achingly liberal of countries and capital cities.”

However while in No. 10 Mr Johnson oversaw a significant reduction in the minimum salary required for a migrant to move to the UK for work.

In October 2020, Mr Johnson’s Government reduced the £35,800 minimum salary requirement by nearly 30 percent, to £25,600 – well below the UK average salary.

Under the points-based scheme cooked up by Mr Johnson, migrants on salaries of £20,480 could accrue enough points – with language skills, their degree and other factors – to move and settle in the UK.

Asked whether Mr Johnson was correct to say that he got migration wrong while in No. 10, Kemi Badenoch said he is “entitled to say whether he got something wrong or not”.

“What our job is is to make sure that the system is working now”.

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