PMQs: Sunak hits out at Starmer over immigration
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The UK Government’s struggle to get a grip on illegal immigration was the focus of heated PMQs as Rishi Sunak looked to slap down attempts by Labour to capitalise on the crisis at Britain’s borders. The Prime Minister confronted Sir Keir Starmer with his party’s own voting record on policy aimed at tackling illegal immigration into the UK.
Mr Sunak told MPs: “Let’s look at the record, the Right Honourable gentleman he voted against the Nationality and Borders Bill.
“He said he said he would scrap the Rwanda partnership, he opposed the ending of free movement of people.
“Look border control is a serious, complex issue but not only does the party opposite not have a plan, they have a post every single taken to solve the problem.
“You can’t attack a plan if you don’t have a plan!”
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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer questioned how a broken asylum system could be anyone’s fault but the Tories.
Sir Keir said: “No-one wants open borders on this side of the House. They have lost control of borders on their side of the House.
“Four prime ministers in five years. It’s the same old, same old, he stands there and tries to pass the blame.
“If the asylum system is broken, and his lot have been in power for 12 years, how can it be anyone’s fault but theirs?”
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The Prime Minister insisted the Government is getting a grip on the situation and backed Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s handling of the issue.
He said she has taken “significant steps” to address the problem of overcrowding at the Manston migrant processing facility in Kent.
Listing her actions, he told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions: “Since September 30, more hotels with 4,500 new beds, appointing a senior general to control the situation at Manston and, indeed, increasing the number of staff there by almost a half.
“These are significant steps that demonstrate that we are getting a grip of this system. But this is a serious and escalating problem. We will make sure that we control our borders and we will always do it fairly and compassionately, because that is the right thing.”
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Around 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel so far this year, with Ms Braverman warning of an “invasion” on the south coast, comments which have been condemned by opponents.
Provisional Government figures to date show 39,913 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.
No crossings were recorded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday and 46 people arrived in one boat on Monday.
In October alone 6,912 people made the journey, with 1,065 arriving in a single day. This is the third highest monthly total this year, after 8,641 were recorded in August and 7,961 were recorded in September, PA news agency analysis of the figures show.
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