Suella Braverman mocked for avoiding questions on record immigration figures
Suella Braverman was mocked by the Opposition after the Home Secretary missed questions in the Commons on the newly released immigration figures.
Ms Braverman, who came under fire for asking Home Office officials to intervene with a speeding fine, was not present on Thursday as immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, faced questions over the record-high figures.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), immigration totalled 1,163,000 people in 2022 with net migration reaching a record high of 606,000.
With Ms Braverman absent from facing questions in the House of Commons, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Where is the Home Secretary who is in charge of these policies?
“She’s gone to ground. There are reports she’s not even going to do media, she’s not going to come to this house and she’s in more internal meetings, presumably in more private meetings arranged by civil servants.
“What is the point of her?”
The Labour Whips Twitter account also took time to poke fun at the Home Secretary by accompanying a screenshot of Mr Jenrick in the Commons, adding: “Presumably Suella is doing a speed awareness course.”
Presumably Suella is doing a speed awareness course pic.twitter.com/HSKXT3RvEd
— Labour Whips (@labourwhips) May 25, 2023
Despite calls for an inquiry into Ms Braverman’s case, Rishi Sunak said she would not face an investigation and that she had later accepted a fine and penalty points on her driving licence.
The ONS figures showed that Immigration in 2022 was up 221,000 compared with the previous year’s 942,000, and 772,000 in the year to December 2019.
Immigration from outside the EU totalled 925,000, up 287,000 on the previous year including a net exodus of 51,000 EU citizens over the 12 months.
A total of 76,000 asylum seekers are being classed as long-term migrants who will stay for over a year, while only 3,000 failed applicants have been returned.
In response, Mr Jenrick pointed to the influx of Ukrainian refugees and British Overseas Nationals from Hong Kong who have caused numbers to rise.
Mr Jenrick added that a package to restrict the migration of the dependants of overseas students would “have a tangible impact on net migration.”
“Taken together with the easing of temporary factors, like our exceptional humanitarian offers, we expect net migration to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term.”
The Prime Minister himself resisted claims the immigration is out of control, saying: “The numbers are too high, it’s as simple as that. And I want to bring them down.”