Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024
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Penny Mordaunt says Sunak must avoid one crucial mistake | Politics | News

has insisted Rishi Sunak can defy the odds and win the most believe he will call in the autumn – while warning him he cannot afford to lurch too far to the right.

The Leader of the House of Commons made her remarks during a fundraiser at the RAF Club in London, days after the Conservative Party’s dismal showing in last week’s local elections.

Former Home Secretary has urged Mr Sunak to focus on curbing the power of the European Court of Human Rights, capping legal migration and delivering more tax cuts.

However, Ms Mordaunt told activists it would be a mistake to pander to those on either wing of her party.

In remarks attributed to her by Natasha Clark, LBC’s political editor, she said: “You can’t salami-slice Conservatism.

“If we do that, we lose our the power of our offer.”

Ms Mordaunt added: “A Labour win at the General Election is not inevitable. It is not.

“A Conservative win at the General Election is not impossible. But right now few can imagine it…

“It is sometimes the people who no one imagines anything of that do the things no one can imagine…”

Right-winger Robert Jenrick, who like Ms Mordaunt and Ms Braverman is seen as a possible Tory leadership contender, today piled the pressure on Mr Sunak by urging him to “undo the disastrous post-Brexit liberalisations” which “betrayed” the public’s wish for lower immigration.”

The former immigration minister today offered more than 30 recommendations to curb migration in a Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) report which he co-authored.

Proposals include capping health and care visas at 30,000, scrapping the graduate route for international students, and indexing salary thresholds for visa routes in line with inflation.

He and his co-authors, Tory former minister Neil O’Brien and CPS research director Karl Williams, claim large-scale migration has failed to deliver significant fiscal benefits while putting pressure on housing, public services and infrastructure.

Mr Jenrick said: “It would be unforgivable if the Government did not use the time before the general election to undo the disastrous post-Brexit liberalisations that betrayed the express wishes of the British public for lower immigration.

“The changes we propose today would finally return numbers to the historical norm and deliver the highly-selective, highly-skilled immigration system voters were promised.

“These policies could be implemented immediately and would consign low-skilled mass migration to the past.

“Immigration is consistently one of the top concerns of voters and they deserve a department whose sole mission is controlling immigration and securing our borders. For far too long, the Home Office has proven incapable of doing that.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have been clear that current levels of migration are far too high.

“That is why the Government announced a plan to cut the number of migrants that would have come last year to the UK by 300,000 – the largest reduction ever.

“This plan is working, with the latest statistics showing applications across three major visa categories are down by 24 percent.

“Our approach is fair – reducing immigration and ensuring businesses invest in and recruit from the domestic workforce, whilst prioritising the overseas workers and students who will contribute significantly to our economy.”

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