Latest policy: Asylum backlog hits new high - while Labor claims decision-making has slowed despite Prime Minister promise (2023)

key points
  • Backlog of asylum claims hits record - as decision-making 'slows down'
  • Car slams into Downing Street gate - what you need to know
  • Video: Moment before the silver car crashes into Whitehall
  • Joe Pike: All calm outer gates that protect the heart from power
  • Number of net migration hits new high despite promise of Tory manifesto
  • Beth Rigby:'Take back control' is an easy slogan to come up with, but extremely difficult to implement
  • Live reporting by Faith Ridler


Leaked documents show 3,000 asylum seekers could be deported a month under the new law

Here are some interesting potential details about the Illegal Migration Act, which surfaced in The Guardian overnight.

It has been claimed that more than 3,000 asylum seekers could be detained and deported each month under the highly divisive legislation.

Leaked information documents about the implementation of the Home Office-backed bill, obtained by the newspaper, allegedly suggest that, once in force, the legislation could see the removal of 3,163 asylum seekers each month from January onwards.

The documents would have been prepared for the Secretary of Justice, Alex Chalk, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Antonia Romeo.

The briefing is believed to be a draft and has not been seen by the minister.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: "We do not comment on leaks."

The documents would have alerted Mr. Chalk that the UK could face judicial review proceedings if legal advice is not provided to detainees under Home Office plans.

The briefing is quoted as saying to the Minister: "You will have a statutory duty to ensure that legal assistance is available for this cohort...

"This can be challenged through judicial review."


Exclusive: Chancellor comfortable with recession if he cuts inflation

By Ed Conway, economics and data editor

Jeremy Hunt told Sky News he was comfortable with Britain being plunged into a recession, if that was what it took to bring down inflation.

The chancellor said he would fully support the Bank of England raising interest rates, potentially to 5.5%, as it battled higher-than-expected prices.

Asked by Sky News if he was "comfortable with the Bank of England doing whatever it takes to bring inflation down, even if it would potentially precipitate a recession", he said: "Yes, because in the end, inflation is a source of instability .

“And if we want to have prosperity, make the economy grow, reduce the risk of recession, we have to support the Bank of England in the difficult decisions it takes.

"I have to do something else, which is to make sure the decisions I make as Chancellor, very difficult decisions, balance the books so that the markets, the world, can see that Britain is a country that pays its own way - all those things. things mean that the Bank of England's monetary policy (and) the Chancellor's fiscal policy are aligned."

The comments came after market expectations for the eventual spike in UK interest rates jumped dramatically, followingHigher-than-expected CPI inflation data this week.

You can watch more of Conway's interview with Mr. Hunt below:


Asylum decisions fell sharply after PM promises to clear delays - labor analysis

Asylum decisions taken by the Home Office are down 18% from the previous quarter since December, according to a Labor Party analysis.

New government figures also reveal that less than 1% of small boat arrivals last year had a decision, the party said.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters of all asylum applications on small boats since 2018 are still awaiting a decision.

In December 2022, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to "abolish the backlog of initial asylum decisions by the end of next year".

But data shared by Labor says the backlog is now at a record 172,500 - while the number of asylum grants and rejections fell between December 2022 and March 2023.

This comes after the latest immigration figures yesterday saw net migration hit a new record high of 606,000 for the year ended December 2022.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: "The prime minister's small boat plan is in tatters. He has promised to increase asylum decisions, but they have fallen through.

“He promised to reduce the accumulation, but he increased it. He promised to hire more social workers, but the numbers are falling.

"Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman are out of touch and out of ideas."


What happened on Downing Street last night?

As we reported live yesterday afternoon, a car crashed into the gates of Downing Street in central London on Thursday - with a man trapped.

If you've just joined us, let us update you on what happened:

  • A silver Kia car crashed into Downing Street gates at around 4.20pm yesterday;
  • The car was immediately surrounded by emergency vehicles;
  • The Metropolitan Police confirmed that there were no injuries;
  • Anti-terrorist police are not involved in the investigation at this stage, it is understood;
  • Rishi Sunak was in DowningStreet at the time of the collision, but departed after the accident - as he had planned;
  • A witness said he heard a "bang" and then saw police pointing Taser guns at a man;
  • A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of criminal mischief and dangerous driving;
  • Cordons were erected around Whitehall, with police blocking access to the street from outside the Ministry of Defence;
  • It was quickly reopened to cars.

You can watch the moment of impact in the video below:


Good morning!

Welcome back to the Policy Hub, where we'll bring you live updates from the heart of Westminster.

It's the first day of recess - but here's what's in store:

  • The questions will likely continue after acar hit the gates of Downing Streetlast night, leading to the arrest of one person. Rishi Sunak was inside number 10 at the time - but no injuries were reported;
  • Jeremy Hunttold Sky News he is comfortable with Britain being steeped inrecessionif that's what it takes to bring down inflation;
  • Labor leader Sir Keir Starmeris in Scotland today, visiting local businesspeople as the race to the next general election gathers speed;
  • Secretary of Transportation Mark Harperhe's at the International Transport Forum, where he's due to give a speech to policy makers;
  • we will be talking toTrabalhista Nick Thomas Symondsno8h05.

We'll have all the latest here, as it happens.


That's all for today

Thank you for joining us for what has been a very busy day in politics.

Here is a summary of what happened today:

  • A man has been arrested after a car slammed into Downing Street gates, prompting a huge security response;
  • Figures released today show that net migration reached a record 606,000 people in 2022;
  • The energy price cap dropped significantly in the wake of falling gas and electricity prices;
  • The government scrapped its main Animal Welfare Act in favor of passing the measures in smaller pieces of legislation;
  • Ministers failed to propose a motion to suspend the MP that violated COVID rules;
  • Works council put in special measures due to debts of £2 billion;
  • Tributes were paid to former Conservative MP Karen Lumley, who died aged 59.

We'll be back at 6am with news from the heart of Westminster - join us!


tomorrow's newspapers today

It's been another very busy day in politics today, and although parliament is in recess for 10 days, government business never stops.

Let's take a look at the political stories on tomorrow's front pages:

The timesit leads to tens of thousands of patients being enrolled in clinical trials as ministers promise pharmaceutical companies better access to the NHS.

It also reports on the dramatic events in Downing Street this afternoon.

Ministers are accused of losing control over immigration to the UK after numbers hit a record last year, says thedaily mirror.

"Is anyone going to stop these eco-clowns?" ask thedaily mailas reports of Just Stop Oil and Animal Rising protesters demonstrating at the Chelsea Flower Show. The newspaper criticizes the authorities for not stopping the protests.

The Guardianreports that more than 3,000 asylum seekers could be detained and deported from the UK every month to enforce Suella Braverman's asylum law, according to leaked documents.

Odaily telegraphleads with borrowing costs reaching levels not seen since Liz Truss's mini-budget, threatening another mortgage shock for homeowners.

He also reports fears that the WHO could be given powers to "force the UK into lockdown" as part of a new pandemic treaty.

Not long ago, the government minister, Andrew Mitchell, told Sky News that the government supports the treaty being negotiated, but that it will "never" cede sovereign powers to the agency (see post on 22.52).

ODaily Expressleads exclusively from the prime minister, who told the newspaper "we must and will reduce the number of people moving to the UK".

Ministers are considering a comprehensive fund reform that protects savers in corporate pension plans, according to theFinancial Times.

OI rolereports that Britain is on track to become Europe's second-largest population for the first time in history.


UK would 'never' allow WHO treaty to 'prevent UK from taking decisive action'

Reports emerged tonight that the World Health Organization (WHO) could have the power to impose lockdowns on the UK as part of a new "pandemic treaty" being negotiated.

According to The Telegraph, ministers fear that signatory countries will be forced to follow the agency's instructions in the event of a pandemic.

The newspaper reports that Conservative MPs have written to ministers to express alarm that the WHO could become an international authority rather than a specialist advisory agency.

This evening, the Minister of State for Development and Africa told Sky News that the government supports the treaty being negotiated, but that it will "never" cede sovereignty powers to the agency.

Andrew Mitchell, told Sky News: “The UK supports the pandemic treaty currently being negotiated by national governments, which can speed up the sharing of data on new pandemic threats so that we can respond quickly in the event of future pandemics.

"We are certain that we would never agree to anything that crossed our principles of sovereignty or prevented the UK from taking decisive action against future pandemics.

"I think that's what our constituents would expect and that's where we stand."


Chancellor: UK determined to compete for green investment while battery announcement awaited

By Ed Conway, economics and data editor

Britain is determined to compete in the global race for green investment, the chancellor told Sky News, days ahead of the expected announcement that Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover, will build a major battery factory in the country.

Jeremy Hunt said he was prepared to deploy grant money from the government's £1 billion war fund to help support these big green projects, despite warning only last month about the dangers of new subsidies.

This came as he unveiled a series of new measures, worth a total of £650m, designed to help spur the life sciences and pharmaceuticals sector in the UK.

Tata's chairman is due to visit Downing Street next week to confirm that the Indian industrial giant has chosen Britain over Spain as the location of its new battery factory, which will service its UK car business as well as Europe. .

Competition between the nations was fierce, and the Tata package is estimated to be worth around £500m, including support on a range of issues, most notably energy costs.

"I can't speak to any trade discussions," Hunt said.

"But what I can say is that we understand - the Prime Minister and I - that we are in a global race to attract investment and we will always do what is necessary to ensure the UK remains competitive."

Read the full story here:


Opposition lawmakers say Boris Johnson allies planned to block Margaret Ferrier's suspension

A little earlier today, we reported that the Government had failed to process a motion to suspend MP Margaret Ferrier from the House of Commons for 30 days (see post on 16.14).

You may recall that in the autumn of 2020, the then SNP MP broke COVID rules by speaking in the House of Commons and returning home on public transport despite testing positive for the virus.

After an investigation, the House of Commons Standards Committee recommended that she be suspended from parliament for 30 days, and this was due to pass a vote in the House of Commons earlier today, but the motion has not been moved by the government.

Tonight, there are accusations from opposition MPs that the government decided to cancel the vote because Boris Johnson's supporters planned to reject it.

This was allegedly due to fears that it would set a precedent for a vote on whatever punishment might be recommended by the privileges committee for Johnson, who is currently under investigation for allegedly misleading the House of Commons about partygate.

The Labor chairman of the parliamentary privileges committee, Chris Bryant, said this evening: “The government apparently heard suddenly that supporters of Boris Johnson were going to vote against the motion.

"I'm afraid all these shenanigans will bring even more discredit to the House of Commons," he said.

And Labor Scotland Shadow Secretary Ian Murray said: "A dirty deal between Ferrier, nationalists and some Conservatives, who do not want Boris Johnson to suffer the same fate, has prevented the democratic process from taking place."

But a strident Boris Johnson ally, Conservative MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, told Sky News tonight that the allegations were "ridiculous".

He said, "To be honest, it probably would have been unfair to have voted for something so important when it's the day before recess and most people have already left due to a whiplash of a line."

Government sources say the vote was canceled because the House of Commons did not have a quorum - meaning there were not enough MPs for the motion to be valid.

It is understood that voting will be rescheduled for after recess.

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