So both main parties now want lower migration

I helped persuade the Sunak government to take action to cut legal migration last year. This January they took some steps to do so.

Now I read Labour too want to bring it down. They decline to tell us how or by how much. Meanwhile they have announced policies for an amnesty for illegal migrants already here and have stated their wish to set up more legal routes for people to use. That sounds like more migrants. The Lib  Dems are always identifying groups and individuals who should be welcomed that current law restricts.

Some, along with many pro left wing broadcasters now rightly point out that Conservatives have promised lower migration but ended up with much higher. This is a major mistake by recent governments. All the time we were in the EU the open birders of the Treaty  swelled numbers in ways government could not control. In the last four years University expansion, the invasion of Ukraine response, the Chinese changes to Hong Kong and the pressures from business to fill more vacancies from abroad have conspired to create a large migration surge.

Those of us who advised against were ignored. Over the last year we have won the arguments against importing more people to take low paid jobs, and against expansion of the University world putting quantity before quality. I do think Conservative Ministers have learned this lesson. They have also been genuine in wanting to stop illegal migration,  but undermined in the courts showing more legal changes are needed.  I do not think Labour are convinced we need much lower migration. They just want to win an election.


  1. Mark B
    June 5, 2024

    Good morning.

    I helped persuade the Sunak government to take action to cut legal migration last year. This January they took some steps to do so.

    I am not even going to bother.

    1. Everhopeful
      June 5, 2024

      I feel your despair.
      But since following this blog the sheer dreadful weirdness of how we are (not really) governed has become apparent.
      All the things that have happened since the time of Cameron. Chaos and lies.
      I have often been assailed by mental pictures of our MPs swinging from the chandeliers.
      Presumably when this country worked it was a reflection of a neat, rule observant government.
      Now the reverse is true. Nothing , zero, zilch works.
      They’ve torn up the rule book and can’t get anything done!

    2. Mickey Taking
      June 5, 2024

      the cuts to legal migration are plain to see, aren’t they? errr…

    3. Hope
      June 5, 2024

      Also genuine about illegal immigration….. 68,000 illegal criminals from France granted permission to stay here, a record high. Last 7th March Sunak promised to introduce legislation to stop illegal entry, legislation brought in August no legal status or right to apply, but 68,000 given amnesty. Head of HO when asked by Loughton MP about the legislation could only repeat they were being processed even though legislation states they have no rights. It is clear to me ECHR overrides legislation last year and they are all still being processed! Stop it JR. Your comments not backed up by fact or record. Braverman privately and publicly told Sunak he needs to leave ECHR, or make not withstanding clauses, she was dumped by your party.

      In fact all prominent leavers and conservatives with dumped or ignored. Wake up, you are going. The pro EU lock step one nation socialists rule your party. It no longer represents what you joined. No need to tarnish your good name on the Sunak rubbish govt.

    4. Ian B
      June 5, 2024

      @Mark B – why should you, why should anyone? Vote for 5 years of purgatory with me as President, as my Party doesn’t even get to vote on me as leader.

      Can you believe 5 years with any of them without further confirmation, without us being reprieved. A lot of irreversible damage and destruction can be done in 5 years – it is not because the People of the UK agreed, they did not, its because Parliament its Excitative do not like to be challenged!

      1. Timaction
        June 5, 2024

        Reform 17% v Tory’s 19% in latest polls today. The Tory’s are toast, Reform is now the true Conservative vote and will take over from here. Betrayal has consequences Sir John and the public know it.

    5. APL
      June 5, 2024

      JR:”I helped persuade the Sunak government to take action to cut legal migration last year. This January they took some steps to do so.”

      Ah yes. The old ‘Tory party two step’. One step forward, two steps back. For god’s sake, change the tune Mr Redwood, you’re no longer obliged to lie as a condition of holding the Party whip.

  2. Peter
    June 5, 2024

    All parties will try to say what suits to win an election. All of them lack credibility on immigration and it will continue to be bad after the election.

    1. Bloke
      June 5, 2024

      ITV Leaders’ Debate last night: What a mess on immigration and much more!
      Julie Etchingham is a fine newsreader but near-useless as a moderator in gaining control. Neither Conservative nor Labour adequately answered the questions but repeatedly attacked each others’ speaking, trying to drown out each other. Julie kept telling them not to overspeak but they were so fired up on immediate defence that they were not even aware of what she was saying.
      She should have instructed them with firm authority to stop instantly, or penalised them with shorter time if not complying. Her feeble efforts were confined to repeating ‘Thank you’, as if that was an order to stop; completely ignored. Microphone cut-outs would have been more effective.
      Keir Starmer was less aggressive, but tended to be less effective by some attempts at being polite. His response on immigration was also weaker than the Sunak sham.

      1. Diane
        June 6, 2024

        I can say that I & those with me, learnt nothing not known before. I found Sunak’s persistent mentioning of the £2000 cringeworthy ( & the anticipated familial comments from both of them ) irritating and totally meaningless without detail. They were both asked for a yes/no reply re the ECHR. Sunak failed to do that. I did not like the format and the limitations it brought & so for me a waste of time. One lady questioner in the real world did highlight her own situation pointing out her financial strain & what she does at home to avoid having to switch on her oven unnecessarily ! And I’m sure many can identify with things like that.

        1. Bloke
          June 6, 2024

          I agree Diane. The format was inept. Both Sunak and Starmer performed badly throughout, making things worse. They are typical wasters, insensitive to people’s difficulties and unfit for office.

    2. Ian B
      June 5, 2024

      @Peter – being less polite, they all lie!

      1. Bloke
        June 6, 2024

        Sunak repeatedly claimed that Labour’s tax increase of £2000 per household was from Independent Treasury Officials. Nick Davis whose work comprised the main part described the claim as NONSENSE. Part was done by Special Advisers. Spads support the party that pays them. That is NOT INDEPENDENT. Both sources qualify those repeatedly-false claims as LIES!

        Reply Treasury officials costed individual proposals. SPADS put them altogether from Labour statements as Labour policy. Labour should tell us which ones they are not going to do if they have changed their minds on some of them.

  3. Peter Gardner
    June 5, 2024

    i am not convinced that Conservative ministers have learned the lesson. They have learned that mass immigration loses votes, true. But do they understand why? Do they now believe mass immigration is NOT in the national interest? I have yet to hear any minister explain why he or she believes lower immigration, very much lower immigration, is good for the UK – only that it would gain a few votes. A cap is necessary but you only have to make a superficial comparison with the Australian system to see that several other features are required in an effective system that works in the national interest. Indeed the UK’s skills shortage categories have the opposite effect to that required and are an inversion of what is in place in the Australian system.
    A while ago Lord Hannan wrote in the Telegraph advocating importing the Australian healthcare system in its entirety. UK should do that and similarly import Australia’s (legal) immigration system in its entirety. What does the UK do to ensure immigrants will not be a burden on the state? Nothing but should it not do something?

    1. Peter Wood
      June 5, 2024

      As previous commenters have said, such promises to makes changes, almost any change, from the 2 main parties are hollow. We don’t know who’s in charge. Is it the people in Parliament who call the rules or the Civil Service? Voting for the stated policies of the former seems to make no difference. We need a policy to Reform the Civil Service.

    2. Mickey Taking
      June 5, 2024

      Which Ministers that have learned the lesson will survive the voter purge on 4th July?

    3. Hope
      June 5, 2024

      It was a choice to have mass immigration, it was a choice to scrap previous cap that existed until 2020. The Tories want to rid us of our nation state, way of life and culture. There is no other explanation. It refuses to deliver Brexit and has watered down by stealth every benefit from leaving. It is acting in lock step to EU in contempt of the largest vote in recent history and somehow, idiotically, want people to vote for them when they recognised they were leant votes to get 85 seat majority to leave EU take back control of borders, laws and money. They CHOSE to ignore all three promises as well!

      Be gone and take your shit and horse with you.

    4. Ian B
      June 5, 2024

      @Peter Gardner – they have their fingers well and truly in their ears. So as to avoid listening to the noise, actually hearing what is being said. Havens forbid, they actually had to do something take responsibility, do something and work with the UK and its People. There is no getting around it, they are traitors, traitors to the UK and its People.

      They keeping proving they are clearly working and serving others outside of the influence of the needs of the UK and its People

    5. Roy Grainger
      June 5, 2024

      Australia has had a massive surge in legal immigration over the past couple of years too. They are not a good example.

  4. Javelin
    June 5, 2024

    According to UK stats 36% of children in UK schools are from Ethnic minority backgrounds. This is rising at 2% per year.

Given most of these come from MENAPT and Africa. According to Scandinavian figures, they do not contribute to the economy. On average they are a drain on the economy.

So this points at a rapidly draining tax base and a rapidly increasing tax spend. Any Government will oversee a constant fall in Government services and standard of living as the remaining tax payers will have to support a steadily growing number of unproductive workers, disabled workers and retirees.

    1. Frances
      June 5, 2024

      The answer is one per adult then people should be required to educate their children but pay for it themselves. Then no benefits or social housing for families who choose over fecundity.
      Its a disgrace that people come here and breed on other peoples taxes.

    2. Ian Wraggg
      June 5, 2024

      Well said javelin

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      June 5, 2024

      disabled worker do not necessarily need to be supported.

    4. Cynic
      June 5, 2024

      As Milton Friedman pointed out,you cannot have a welfare state and open borders.

    5. Hat man
      June 5, 2024

      The implications of allowing mass migration have been clear for a long time, and they’re very much as you say, Javelin. Unfortunately we have a government that didn’t want to look at them. As from 5 July we’ll again have a government that won’t want to look at them. Why? Because powerful business interests have successfully lobbied for a low-wage economy where they can get employees cheaply, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab for the social costs. Nothing significant will change until that business model is ended, and replaced by one where it’s cheaper and better for businesses to hire local people, training them up where necessary. To do that, as with all behaviour modifications governments like to enforce, I see no alternative to using the tax system. Businesses (and the NHS) currently plundering the third world for trained staff must be hit by employment tax penalties until it hurts. Probably coupled with tax breaks for companies training up British nationals. There will be unpleasant ramifications of this for a while, but if we’re serious about ending mass migration, a way has to be found of tackling the strong demand pull for it coming from British employers. They’re not evil – they’re acting quite rationally from their standpoint. The response also has to be rational and match economic means to the desired ends. No political solution will work without taking account of employers’ role in the situation that’s been created, and their needs.

    6. Berkshire Alan
      June 5, 2024

      Indeed the ethnic minority will not be a minority for very much longer given the rate of increase, simple fact.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        June 5, 2024

        They are not ‘ethnic’. We are!

    7. Original Richard
      June 5, 2024

      Javelin :

      Yes, I’m hoping that Sir John will be explaining to us why all the existing Parliamentary parties are determined to replace our indigenous population with the global majority.

      Then, perhaps why they also wish us to impoverish ourselves saving the planet from our 1% contribution to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    8. Ralph Corderoy
      June 5, 2024

      Dominic Frisby’s article from ’22, ‘What the UK population will look like in 2035’, uses the Department of Education’s data on ethnicity in primary school:

      He argues the future white minority across the country’s primary schools will age into a white minority as adults in time. What’s missing is the mention of culture. Even if a British child of the Seventies never set foot in a church, they were raised in an environment of Protestant Christian morality because that’s what had shaped the country for centuries. (Nietzsche said Christian morality was really cowardice, but the point stands even if that’s true.) A second Abrahamic faith, Judaism, has a lot of overlap given the Old Testament is based on the Jewish bible or Tanakh.

      An adult immigrant raised in a different culture may not wish to meld in. Contrasting with the former immigrants who Anglicised their surname. Standing apart is more likely if the elders within his religion promotes the distinction and he’s a regular ‘church goer’. Similarly, a child born here to an observant family.

      Over time, this weakens the sense of a nation state which weakens our ties to this country as it will become.

  5. agricola
    June 5, 2024

    None of the three main parties can be trusted on immigration. Neither consocialists nor labour have a plausable plan to reduce it or to rid ourselves of all the illegals already here.

    They are always talking about nett migration, simply because it makes the gross migration figure look smaller. None of those in power or aspiring to if ever ask why hundreds of thousands are leaving. I suggest it is because politicians both in and out of government have made such a shambles of the UK that those leaving have no faith in any of them improving matters or even looking like they may do so.

    If any of you, who have been in Parliament, had wanted to get a grip on immigration you would have:-
    1. Blocked the influence of the ECHR.
    2. Returned all boat interceptions to France, giving back engineless punctured rubber boats for the last two hundred yards. Not necessarily to their point of departure.
    3. Ended legal aid to lawyers. Fat chance as their are so many in Parliament.
    4. Employed the civil service on a new contract of employment, too many are a fifth column in the Home Office specifically.
    5. Make the FCO responsible for vetting genuine asylum seekers outside the UK.

    Why do you think that, the evidence from current polls, suggests that around 40% of the electorate are undecided. They have no faith in or committment to any of the major parties or their baseless offerings. This is not limited to immigration.

  6. Donna
    June 5, 2024

    I take issue with the headline Sir John: ” So both main parties now want lower migration.”

    No they don’t. They have been forced, kicking and screaming, into SAYING that they now want lower migration.
    There is no evidence whatsoever that they actually WANT lower migration.

    As for “I do think Conservative Ministers have learned this lesson.”

    Really? A so-called reduction – from 1.2 million a year to 900,000 a year demonstrates otherwise.

    We need Net Zero legal immigration and to start shipping out those who are here illegally or who are here legally but have been convicted of serious criminal offences. And neither Labour nor the Not-a-Conservative-Party is going to do that.

  7. DOM
    June 5, 2024

    There’s no skill shortage, it’s a woke lie to create a pretext for further demographic change using mass importation with one purpose, national obliteration and the destruction of a place we once loved. Starmer will unleash the final chapter of Labour’s 1997 plan

  8. Sakara Gold
    June 5, 2024

    The debate last night, admirably moderated by Julie Etchingham, showed the nation (or at least those who could be bothered to tune in) exactly why Sunak has failed as PM.

    Sunak repeatedly shouted down Starmer, boorishly interrupting after demanding a reply to one of his allegations on tax, defence, pensions or similar. He even shouted down the moderator. Sunak, who was wearing a sharp £2500 suit, patronised a lady asking a reasonable question on the cost of living crisis by claiming that he “understood” her difficulties. What tosh

    You would have though that Sunak would have some successes to point out after 14 years of Conservative government. He chose instead to claim that Labour would make things even worse. Starmer received applause after many of his replies. Unfortunately, Sunak received derisory laughter several times.

    If there is one thing that irritates me, it’s being talked down to – and patronised – by a rich man who is so completely out of touch, both with the audience and the country

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      June 5, 2024

      Not even a particularly bright rich man.

  9. Narrow Shoulders
    June 5, 2024

    With 5 million people on unemployment benefits we do not need to import (relative) poverty from abroad

  10. Everhopeful
    June 5, 2024

    Why are they doing this?
    For all the theories we don’t really know.
    As they stole our country not one politician had the grace to explain the theft.
    But they lie what’s the point?

    Soon, surely very soon it will all affect them and strike at their black hearts too?
    Then what?

  11. Mark J
    June 5, 2024


    Under the authority and consent of whom exactly? Certainly not me and most of the country.

    An amnesty will do nothing to curb the numbers, will encourage yet more to arrive and rewards those who have broken the law.

    Didnt Spain once have an amnesty? Didn’t do anything to curb illegal migration.

  12. Bloke
    June 5, 2024

    Neither UK Universities and businesses, nor Russia and China CONSPIRED to create a surge in UK immigration. Universities sought higher fees, business sought cheaper labour. Russia and China sought over-control of those they regard as their ‘own’ people. It was not a mutually-agreed secret plan!

    The Russian and Chinese actions increased asylum seekers around the world. The UK University and business lures were generated by the errant UK government.

    Conservative government extreme incompetence bloated the numbers here, causing so many increasing problems lingering. Claiming Labour would be even worse is no reason to vote Conservative. Reform would be better than both.

  13. Mickey Taking
    June 5, 2024

    I spoke to a recent (working) 18 year-old yesterday. I asked will you vote? The reply was a firm no way ‘all the parties seem to be just the same, and the idea of National Service was outrageous!’

    So is that the general reaction by the young who can now vote since the last GE?

  14. Everhopeful
    June 5, 2024

    Apparently Sunak beat Starmer in a poll on that debate.
    I watched a bit of it on TV and was surprised at how badly Starmer came over.
    So…just now I had a look at the vid and honestly it was a bit spine tingling.
    Rishi WAS extremely good.
    He even trounced the ghastly presenter.
    And Starmer looked befuddled.
    More debates. Keep it up Rishi.
    Maybe something can be salvaged?

    1. Everhopeful
      June 5, 2024

      And I say all that in the full knowledge of all the dreadful things the tories have done and the hope for Reform etc. etc.
      But I do not want a Labour government.
      It will be totalitarianism off the scale and I am certain that pet chipping ( via charities) is a precursor to human chipping.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      June 5, 2024

      Dream on.
      Wood versus an expensive coffee mug.

  15. Old Albion
    June 5, 2024

    After decades of filling England with culturally alien immigrants, there is only one sensible policy. N. Farage said it “Net zero immigration”

  16. Richard1
    June 5, 2024

    Indeed well spotted, Labour just want to win the election. A little advertised benefit of Brexit is it has become much easier eg for tech companies in the U.K. to hire non-EU workers (where most of the best are sourced). I suppose the Conservatives don’t want to make such a boast. Of course it was also right to allow Hong Kongers and Ukrainians here in large numbers to escape the brutal Chinese Communist and Russian oppression and invasion.

    The odd thing is this wasn’t an issue until quite recently. When Boris Johnson was PM he presided over huge immigration but because the U.K. had “taken back control” it didn’t seem to be a big issue. The illegal crossings are what’s got it into the headlines.

  17. Nigl,
    June 5, 2024

    The liberal elites, Cameron and Sunak amongst them have allowed their ‘hate of Farage and/or their disdain for the ordinary voter to cloud their judgement ignoring the message of Brexit and then why Boris won such a large majority.

    At a time when European politics was moving right, migration a big issue, our cloth eared ‘children’ in No 10 and pushed by the Civil Service and Treasury were stuck to a centre/centre left policy and only needing votes so having to listen to ordinary people, have they changed track.

    Unfortunately for them, albeit it was obvious that it was happening, that created a vacuum on the right that Reform have moved into. Utterly a problem created by this government blinded by their own self importance.

    Not one had the nous or boleaux loving their cabinet jobs too much, to push back.

    Your last sentence ‘they want to win an election’ beneath you. Maybe you could include Tory guff on Inheritance Tax, this topic, the ECHR. Etc.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    June 5, 2024

    Both parties may say they want lower immigration because there is an election. Neither can be trusted as you show in your comments.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 5, 2024

      Indeed. The irony of Sunak saying that Starmer’s record is the opposite of what he says. Has Sunak looked at his own and the Conservatives record on immigration, debt, tax levels, the NHS, the economy, house building, energy, the NHS, public services, the net harm vaccines, net harm lockdowns….

      So Starmer can easily afford to go privately but would not do so for himself or his relatives. He would rather increase the queues for others in our rationed NHS. So if he does fall ill and cannot work until his op in 18 months will we get Claire Rayner shouting Tory Scum, Scum, Scum taking over?

      1. Lifelogic
        June 5, 2024

        So Sunak blames the Strikes for the NHS delays. My son is not striking but he should he is not paid enough to live on, rent a room and pay even his student debt interest – as a junior doctor in London. I still have to subsidise him – seven years from 18 onwards so far. His same ages flat mate amd friends in banking, law… are paid over three times as much.

        At least pay them enough to live on Sunak?

      2. Lifelogic
        June 5, 2024

        Starmer last night “Renewables are cheaper” another blatant lie, clean power by 2030 (what is dirty about C02.

        But Sunak is just the same with just a touch on the Break. He things heat pumps are £7-10K what for a small studio flat? Dream on Sunak. More like £50k for a good system for a four bed house.

    2. Timaction
      June 5, 2024

      ….. uni party can’t be trusted…. end of. In fact a vote for English extinction.

  19. Nigl,
    June 5, 2024

    ‘High and mighty Tory advisers convince Sunak to snub Farage’

    For high and mighty read self important and out of touch.

    1. Donna
      June 5, 2024

      Why do you think the Party Grandees instructed Sunak to appoint Lord Dave of Greenshill Lobbying as Foreign Secretary?

    2. Roy Grainger
      June 5, 2024

      This assumes that Farage had something to offer the Tories which they refused. I think you’ll find that isn’t the case.

    3. Mickey Taking
      June 6, 2024

      Desperate measures to try to secure a reducing Establishment.

  20. Ian B
    June 5, 2024

    Sir John
    A reasonable synopsis of the state of play on immigration legal and criminal. While the alternate protagonists talk pipe dreams, the one outfit that has been talking tough for the last 14 years and upped the ‘talk’ in recent years – has done nothing. We get the promises we get the manifestos, what we don’t get is fulfilment of any commitment in any way shape or form. In fact, we have 14 years of reneging on everything that has been needed, promised even to be done, just to move the Country and its People forward.

    They can’t even control the expenditure that is within their daily gift, they refuse – so should anyone expect anything other than total disappointment and an ever increasing 70 years high on taxes?

    Just because the others are expected to be worse isn’t a good enough reason to give them 5 years more (can you believe 5 Years of purgatory). The Country has been given a prison sentence without a review for 5 Years.

    Get real, sack the lot and start over.

  21. majorfrustration
    June 5, 2024

    Ministers may well want to reduce immigration but will the Civil Service do as they are asked?

    1. Roy Grainger
      June 5, 2024

      Really ? Which ministers are they ? Interesting to see the country of origin of this latest surge – by far the largest number are from India. And we didn’t even get a trade agreement in return.

    2. Peter Gardner
      June 5, 2024

      Ministers aren’t there to ask the Civil Service to do things. They are there to order the Civil Service to do things. Strikes me that none either knows what should be done or has the backbone to order it to be done.

      1. Mickey Taking
        June 6, 2024

        One Civil Servant got quite upset at being told to DO IT , in a raised voice! Poor little sheltered darling!

  22. Rod Evans
    June 5, 2024

    Sir John,
    It is not just the Labour Party that are saying one thing re migration while progressing the exact opposite.
    Lord Dave is a classic example from our own Party.
    The issue is not illegal migrants trying to get in to the UK. It is the increasing legal authorised entry of migrants that have destroyed any semblance of control we might think we have over our own borders.
    The nation is looking for action not wishful thinking.
    The 50,000 coming in via dinghies from France is a piffling side show compared with the 1,4 million allowed legal entry last year.

    1. Peter Gardner
      June 5, 2024

      The two issues are related. If you believe in attracting migrants en masse you aren’t going to get out of bed to stop the boats. You don’t care how they come, only that they come. The rest is pantomime. Even now the Tories say they will cap immigration only because they know they will never have to do so.

  23. Mike Wilson
    June 5, 2024

    It gets rather tedious reading about what your government should done – but didn’t. Given you are retiring as an MP, I think you should have left the Conservative Party two years ago and spent the last two years, as an independent, haranguing the government.

    1. Donna
      June 5, 2024


    2. IanT
      June 5, 2024

      You’ve had my vote all these years Sir John, even when I’ve been far from happy with your Conservative Government. Frankly, I feel less loyalty to the Tory Party these days, something I also hear from friends and older family members. There’s too much talk of moving to the “Centre”, when the ‘Centre’ has been quietly dragged a good bit to the left from where it used to be. Frankly, I don’t trust the (One Nation) Conservative Party to be ‘conservative’ any more. I watch what they do, rather then what they say and the two often differ widely. In short , the Tory Party can’t be trusted. This is equally true of Labour (in spades) of course. Farage hit the nail firmly on the head on Tuesday – when he postioned Reform as the “None of the Above” Party. I’m tired of giving the Conservatives my support and getting nothing back. If Labour are going to win, then I’d prefer to see Farage knocking chunks off Starmer than anyone else. Like Boris, he’s certainly not my idea of PM material but at least he’s entertaining…

      Lucy Demery looks to be an good candidate but we are yet to hear her political views. Perhaps you should invite her to state them here? Growth, Net Zero & Immigration are my top three – she could start there. I’ve moved from knowing where I would vote, to being undecided and time is short…..

      1. Mickey Taking
        June 6, 2024

        Dozens of previous Conservative candidates looked good, what did we really know about how they would vote given Whips? How many refused, abstained or threw the towel in and called a by-election?
        Docile donkeys springs to mind.

    3. Lifelogic
      June 5, 2024

      No given FPTP you have to capture & reform the Conservative party or destroy it and replace it. The latter is rather hard under FPTP and other powerful organisations and the blob. JR did all he could, a great shame he is leaving. An even great shame the Tories did not follow his wise advice for the past 37 years or so.

    4. jerry
      June 5, 2024

      @Mike Wilson, Had our host left the Conservative Party he would have been listen to even less I suspect, Minsters happy to give-way to their own backbench are less inclined to bequest such time to an independent, not knowing which goal the ball might enter, nor would he have necessarily kept Lobby access etc.

      There are also many other reasons for stepping down as an MP, besides annoyance at your own Party. We will have to wait and see what the future brings, I have my own predictions as to what I would like to see, all positive I might add, despite rarely agreeing with Sir John’s policy positions!

  24. beresford
    June 5, 2024

    None of the Uniparty have any credibility on immigration. None of them have committed to leaving the UN Global Compact on Migration, which says that mass immigration (into white majority countries) is ‘both necessary and desirable’. Recently proposals were put to restrict the university route and Dave ‘Too many white faces’ Cameron rushed to demand that they be watered down. Now we are expected to believe that having failed to launch Rwanda flights under the pressure of a forthcoming election the removal of that pressure by reelection will enable the Conservatives to start flights immediately. They must think we are idiots. Regrettably some of the electorate are.

  25. glen cullen
    June 5, 2024

    Both labour & tory will not supply target caps for legal immigration on manifesto
    Lobour will not leave ECHRs and tory will only said that they will not allow an outside court to affect policy, so they will not leave either

  26. Bryan Harris
    June 5, 2024

    I do not think Labour are convinced we need much lower migration. They just want to win an election.

    Indeed, which is why they have done so well in elections after flooding the UK with unaccountable numbers of migrants, legal and otherwise, during the and after the Blair years.

    When the Tories actually do something to stop the flow of extra labour voters from across the Channel will anyone believe that Parliament is serious about this issue.

  27. Reform_Now
    June 5, 2024

    Is our host so tribal that he can only envisage the Conservative Party as the way forward?

    If you take the time to read the reform UK manifesto you would see policies that chime with everything he proposes that his own party should have done *while in government*.

    The difference is, I believe Reform when they say they will do it, I don’t believe any other party. And I am sick and tired of Project Fear (vote for us because the others are worse).

    Reform at last gives us something to vote FOR instead of constantly voting against (all the others).

    Can our host see past his years as a Conservative MP and join them?

    1. Reform_Now
      June 5, 2024

      P.S. Reform must beware of the same problem the Conservative Party had – infiltration by the left.

      I was concerned to see reports of the history of some recent incoming members and candidates, with a very lefty/Remainer past. We can see what they are up to when they are unearthed (usually by places like Guido Fawkes) so Reform needs to do that better without others finding out for them, after the fact.

      That is what happened to the Conservatives (at parliamentary level anyway, the members are still true small-c conservatives).

  28. Reform_Now
    June 5, 2024

    I see my comments go straight in the bin again. Nothing that touches your precious Conservative Party can be published, eh?

    I’ll leave you to your blinkered world view. In the end, just another politician.

  29. Christine
    June 5, 2024

    “Meanwhile they have announced policies for an amnesty for illegal migrants already here”

    By doing this illegals will be entitled to claim benefits and to bring their families here. This will be a drain on the British taxpayer and increase immigration even further. Nobody even knows how many illegals are in the country and how much this policy will cost.

    Who says crime doesn’t pay?

    I’m baffled why anyone would vote for this.

  30. Wanderer
    June 5, 2024

    It’s sad we the people have been so let down by our governments over the past 14 years. Another 5 years of decline, under Labour, to come.

    I’m currently on a train sitting next to a Spanish entrepreneur. He’s given up on Spain (tax, regulation and corruption too high) and is setting up businesses in Switzerland instead. He says costs are high but so are profits, and governments there basically support enterprise. He’s optimistic.

    “How about the UK?” I ask. He says in the past he’s invested, but not any more, it’s no longer an attractive place for innovation and hard work.

  31. iain gill
    June 5, 2024

    I think Reform will ger far more votes than the pundits realise.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      June 6, 2024

      Agree, but may not get may seats, which shows up as a huge fault within our present system where people vote tactically for people they do not really like, to try and stop someone else.
      The other problem with a new party is the possibility of many candidates simply not being really suitable with regards to character or experience, as a new party will not have the system checks in place that perhaps other more established organisations may have.
      Having said that many of the present lot have still had their own problems, so we need a shake up, and to give others an opportunity to see if they can do better.

      1. iain gill
        June 6, 2024

        “many candidates simply not being really suitable” the two existing main parties already have this, and massively dysfunctional candidate selection approaches.

        most of us could go down the local pub and pick better candidates within a few hours.

  32. Roy Grainger
    June 5, 2024

    For Labour to promise to bring down legal immigration is a no-brainer, they could hardly increase it could they ? Strange you say that more legal changes are needed to curb illegal immigration – your leader explicitly told us that wouldn’t be needed and the Rwanda flights would definitely take off in Spring. As those legal changes include leaving ECHR then I assume you’ll be voting Reform ?

  33. Stephen Phillips
    June 5, 2024

    Surely the reason ALL governments like migration is that it increases the Total GDP which is the basis on which they can sustain ever more borrowing so they can spend without taxation?

    That it comes at the price of lower GDP/Capita and social damage does not matter to them.

  34. Ian B
    June 5, 2024

    Sir John – while respecting your wish to review alternative subjects, we do have a GE on the go where the truth has left the room for all those involved

    TV debate headline “Starmer on the ropes over £2,000 tax rise”
    ‘Sir Keir Starmer will raise taxes for every working household by £2,000, Rishi Sunak said repeatedly in the first TV election debate.’
    ‘The Prime Minister highlighted Treasury analysis that suggested there was a major black hole in Labour’s spending approach, arguing it would inevitably lead to higher taxes.’

    Then we were left confused as the Treasury is always seen as an arm of Labour, so they have come back and confirmed their position

    ‘The row over the £2,000 figure deepened this morning when the BBC obtained a letter revealing the most senior official in the Treasury has distanced his department from the figure.’
    ‘In a letter responding to a query from Labour’s Darren Jones, the official said the Conservatives were wrong to present the calculations as having been produced by the civil service, and said he had spoken to ministers about his concerns.’

    1. Ian B
      June 5, 2024

      Sunak, based on History – Starmer based on guesses on an unpublished manifesto – from Sky News

      While £2,000 sounds like a big number, it’s actually a cumulative total from four years. A far more representative figure to take from the dossier is £500 – the annual figure.

      And while that’s not to be sniffed at (if you believe it – which you probably shouldn’t) it’s far, far smaller than the tax rises we’ve all experienced under this Conservative government since 2019. They amount, all told, to an average of around £3,000 a year per household or, if we grit our teeth and tot it up as the Tories did in their dossier, over £13,000 over the course of the parliament. Which rather dwarfs that £2,000 figure.

      So using Suank’s own sums to hit out at Labour(£2,000), his own proven record using the same sums in real evidence show he(Sunak) bumped up tax by £13,000 per household.

      1. Mickey Taking
        June 6, 2024

        Sunak/Hunt have cost the citizens far more than £500 per year.

  35. Kenneth
    June 5, 2024

    I doubt if anyone will give the Conservatives the benefit of the doubt on this issue. They cannot be trusted.

    I agree that the Labour Partty can also not be trusted and the Liberals/Greens show no sign of wanting to reduce immigration.

    That leaves us with Reform as the only party that has put immigration reduction at the centre of its aims. I am likely to vote for them. I hope they can get some MPs into the next Parliament in order to bolster the opposition to Labour.

  36. Lynn Atkinson
    June 5, 2024

    Reducing immigration no longer washes. We need mass expulsions. If the Government don’t do it – the people will.

    1. Mickey Taking
      June 6, 2024

      Is that a thinly disguised Kristallnacht, I sincerely hope not!

  37. Keith from Leeds
    June 5, 2024

    Why did Sunak not get to grips with immigration while he was PM? Why should we believe him now?
    Starmer and Labour are useless, they will allow and encourage more immigration.
    When did MPs and their leaders stop listening to the people who voted for them? With the result, we have this out-of-control situation today?
    People don’t object to some Immigration, but they want the numbers controlled at a much lower level. Why do MPs not see the housing problem, NHS waiting lists, GPs availability, over crowding in schools are all linked to recent high immigration?
    They also want immigrants to integrate and respect the values of the UK. But perhaps we should ask a majority of our MPs to do so first!

  38. The Prangwizard
    June 5, 2024

    When it comes to figures, although not used here, references to ‘net’ must be abandoned. It gives a deliberately false picture.

    If there was a net zero, which no doubt would be promoted, as are lower nets and will if they continue.

    The net zero could however be made up of 1m in and 1m out. The incomer million might be from tbe middle east and Africa. The 1m out could be from Surrey, Yorkshire and Somerset.

    Would your party be happy with net zero and promote it as a success like that?

    The government may do somewhere but they must be promoted and the media must always give the monthly the ‘in’ figures, and the ‘out’ figures, and how they are made up. Where from and where to.

  39. Sakara Gold
    June 5, 2024

    Those who object to the UK’s net zero plans, on the gounds that India and China are still burning fossil fuels to generste electicity, may care to note that China has just brought online the world’s biggest onshore solar farm, a huge 5GW complex in a desert region of the north-west province of Xinjiang that covers 200,000 acres – roughly the same area as New York City.

    China has led the world in solar power adoption, boosting its capacity in 2023 by more than 50 per cent. The new solar farm overtakes the Ningxia Teneggeli and Golmud Wutumeiren solar projects, which are both also in China, to become the largest in the world.

    A recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) described China’s drive towards renewables as “extraordinary”, with the country commissioning as much solar capacity last year as the entire world did in 2022.

    Last month, in a widely criticised protectionist move, POTUS Joe Biden announced that tariffs on Chinese solar cell imports would double from 25 per cent to 50 per cent. Trump replied that he would ban the Chinese imports completely

    1. Martin in Bristol
      June 6, 2024

      China burns half the world’s coal
      Even the USA is just 10%
      The UK is tiny at 3%
      You are shouting at the wrong country.

  40. jerry
    June 5, 2024

    Labour are not (apparently) winning this election solely because of the Migration argument, it is small-fry compared to wider economic, stealth-taxation and social issues; which the political right dare not debate in detail because they would need to acknowledge their own past formative role in the current abysmal mess, that has been brewing since 1979, which enabled their wider economic policy, by the bringing down the PSBR more quickly that required.

    Even right-wing education policy has turned from the success seen before the 1980s reforms to failure over the years since, with an ever bloated one-size fits all, and now statistics lead, National Curriculum, with “Micky-Mouse Degree” qualifications to follow, because post-compulsory education colleges were encouraged to put quantity before quality as they were turned into businesses rather than a service, a trend that stated before 1997; no wonder some employers in lower skilled or manual labour sectors had to turn to recruiting EU migrant workers by the turn of the new century; not that farming or construction is “un-skilled” Mr Farage…

    Hence some have become obsessed with the only issue they can debate with political security, post Maastricht (illegal) immigration. As for the level of acceptable immigration, a meaningless debate without worthwhile figures for our past, current and projected size of economy vs. size of workforce. Net Migration is but one side of the coin. The idea some have that there could be effectively zero Net Migration appears fool hardy, even if populist, when the existing economy is based around the baby-boom generation that is now rapidly leaving the active workforce, and where the following generation’s have (with some evidence) seen a decline in the birth-rate year-on-year.

    1. Sam
      June 6, 2024

      With a population of probably 70 million, we already have enough people here to carry out the jobs that are needed.
      We used to focus more on training our own citizens instead of pinching trained people from other poorer countries.
      A million new arrivals a year is unsustainable on various grounds.

      1. jerry
        June 6, 2024

        @Sam; For pity sake, read what I actually said, otherwise please tell me what you did not understand about the UK ‘total working age population’ numbers, now and future, and how that statistic relates to the needs and size of our economy. Total population is a brickbat, not a serious argument.

  41. forthurst
    June 5, 2024

    How did two parties that that had no desire for mass immigration become two parties that competed over how many third worlders they could import whilst telling the English people that their intention was the opposite?
    Clement Atlee was surprised when the Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury; he had not been aware that two of his ministers had orchestrated this nor was he aware that the sole purpose of the British Nationality Act 1948 was so that the whole of the Commonwealth could be imported into this country with the purpose of undermining its ethnic basis.

    1. Donna
      June 6, 2024

      The question isn’t “How” it’s Why?

      Because they are Globalist Parties, which do the bidding of various (unelected, unaccountable) Global Organisations …. including the UN, IMF, WEF and EU. Their intention is to create a One World Government.

      Bilderberger Denis Healey admitted it ““To say we are striving for a one world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair.”

      Peter Sutherland, UN Commissioner for Global Migration “UN migration chief Peter Sutherland has said that the EU should do its best to undermine the homogeneity of its Member States by encouraging more migration and greater multiculturalism.”

      And there are plenty of others who are responsible for the destruction of our nations all “hiding in plain sight.”

  42. Derek
    June 5, 2024

    It is way past time, any Government paid heed to the ever-increasing population density of OUR country. How many can UK plc accept without severely damaging, if not crippling, our infrastructure and our Welfare State?

    In post-war, 1950 there were 205 persons per Km2. 1970, 228/Km2. 1990 234/Km2 with an annual growth of 0.26%. 1997 239/Km2 @ .30%. 2000 241/Km2 @,37%. 2010 257/Km2 @ .83% 2024 279/Km2 @ .33%.
    These figures show that during the Thatcher years, population increase was down to 0.26% per year, BUT during the Blair and Brown Labour years, had risen to .83%. Their open door policy to the RoTW must have caused this worrying increase.
    Now we can see quite clearly where the damage was done to OUR country. However, despite the annual rate dropping back to .33% in 2024, our population density has increased by 22 persons per Km2 over the past 14 years and the UN projects it will not level off until 2055. Does no one in Government notice these figures?
    That projection is right on course unless strong steps are taken to restrict future immigration, and the sole reason why it must be addressed and Right Now!

  43. Lifelogic
    June 5, 2024

    Starmer said they will get rid of the “tax break” on private schools. This is a complete lie on they pay four times over in what world it is a tax break? On a par with Osborne’s blatant lies when he taxed landlords on the interest costs (so on profit they had not even made) and lies that he would give up £1 IHT thresholds – still £325K now worth more like £200k.

    Then we got Sunak boasting about not taxing state pensions. Well they have always been taxable. It was your government & Hunt that froze the allowances to bring more into tax. Another lie from Sunak!

  44. Mark
    June 5, 2024

    ONS reports immigration by country for 2023 as

    India 250,000
    Nigeria 141,000
    China 90,000
    Pakistan 83,000
    Zimbabwe 36,000
    Ghana 35,000
    Bangladesh 33,000
    USA 21,000
    Sri Lanka 21,000
    EU (no breakdown) 123,000
    British 88,000 (typically returning from jobs abroad)
    Humanitarian 50,000 (mainly Hong Kong/Ukraine)

    Large numbers of dependents have been accompanying those getting visas for work or study. Almost 400,000 nonEU migrants came in for study with just 133,000 returning home: the student route continues to be the back door route into Britain.

    1. jerry
      June 5, 2024

      @Mark; “Large numbers of dependents have been accompanying those getting visas for work or study. Almost 400,000 nonEU migrants came in for study with just 133,000 returning home”

      Both types of migrant should be easy to keep tracks on, more so students (many of who will have student Photo ID on file, so how has the Home Office lost track of 267,000, assuming they have.

      “the student route continues to be the back door route into Britain.”

      That doesn’t follow; as you said, the figure contains both work and student visas, it is possible some at least could be exchanging their student visa for a longer-stay work visa.

      Of course, had the Cameron lead govt not killed off the proposed National ID card scheme back in 2010… My objection to the scheme proposed as by Labour at the time was their intention to make the individual pay for a mandatory govt required card, the cost of the scheme should have come from the general taxation receipt.

      The immigration from the EU is interesting, I wonder why no breakdown give all the EU27 is a 3rd country now and data should be gathered, just the same as China or the USA, but of course post Brexit expat returnees hold UK passports and would only be counted, ho-hmm.

      1. Mark
        June 6, 2024


        The figures are just over 400,000 on the work route PLUS just under 400,000 as students, in each case including dependents. It is indeed the case that some students convert to other forms of visa, and therefore remain legally, but they are not classed as new immigrants having emigrated at the end of their course for doing so. Nevertheless, they constitute a backdoor route (which was made easier in 2021) because we are fed the fiction that students will be going home at the end of their course. Few do.

        This is not a new thing, except that probably the proportion who stay illegally has dropped since I first highlighted it here probably over a decade ago (Sir John raised the issue with ministers IIRC) and to Migration Watch forcing the Home Office into better monitoring procedures. The numbers have increased dramatically since 2021 compared with then.

        1. jerry
          June 6, 2024

          @Mark; Lies, damned lies and statics…

          How many *British* citizens left the UK workforce, how many entered, over the same period, has the total working age population (including migrant labour) increased, decreased, remained static over the same period.

          Without knowing the figures above the ones you cite are a bit like that old advertising tag-line, “8 out of 10 cat owners say their cat prefers [our product]”; when in reality what they meant was *of those asked*, in other words meaningless twaddle, all things to all people, ‘prove’ what you wish!

          1. Mark
            June 6, 2024

            Irrelevant. The numbers on students are covered by data from HESA as well as the migration data. Students are only here for relatively short duration courses in the first instance (although anything under a year doesn’t count as migration, only visiting). The numbers are overwhelming, and clear.

            There is no need to know anything about the numbers of British reaching employment or retiring or emigrating to understand the student numbers, and that the student route is a backdoor to Britain.

          2. jerry
            June 7, 2024

            @Mark, The working age population is VERY relevant to a countries economy, otherwise, anyone want the State retirement age to be 55 instead of 67, how about Full Time (compulsory) higher education stops at age 25, not 18…

      2. Martin in Bristol
        June 6, 2024

        Perhaps they are signing up for those mickey mouse degrees you complain about Jerry.
        ho humm indeed.

        1. jerry
          June 6, 2024

          @MiB; Some of those non UK students were quite likely signing up to “Mickey-Mouse degrees”, to obtain a UK entry visa.

          With a few exceptions, I remember there were a few Iranian students around (this was before the revolution in Iran), such things didn’t happen when myself and my peers were at college or Uni, but back in those days such places are – as I said – run as a (largely State funded) service, not a business that pay top level management ‘industry’ and performance related salaries, Ho-hum indeed, beware of unintended consistences!

          1. Martin in Bristol
            June 6, 2024

            I see inconsistencies in your arguments Jerry.
            You seem to enjoy taking a contrary position whatever the original poster said.

  45. glen cullen
    June 5, 2024

    234 illegal aliens /boat people arrived yesterday from the safe country of France

    1. jerry
      June 5, 2024

      @glen cullen; Yes, and that’s another 234 “illegal aliens /boat people” who can’t be returned to the safe country that is France, or any other EU27 country they had passed through for that matter, because the UK has pulled out of the ‘Dublin Regulation’ as part of Brexit; not even negotiating an alternative agreement, as other 3rd countries, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, have…

      Reply We did not return most when we were in the EU. We were told Dublin was not enforceable.

      1. jerry
        June 6, 2024

        @JR reply; Some is better than none!

        If the Dublin Regulation is not enforceable, is it also non-amendable, surely not, given it appears to be in its third version (agreed 2013), probably not all the time the European politically right are making hay…

  46. Ian B
    June 5, 2024

    Sir John
    Writing in the Telegraph – 6:36PM 05/06/2024
    John Redwood: Nobody can afford Labour’s secret tax bill
    “Ahead of the election they announced that their £28 billion bill for an accelerated path to net zero carbon electricity generation by 2030 was not a commitment. They hoped they could find the money some other way, without explaining how. They have plans for extra public service personnel, for higher wages, for new public sector bodies like Great British Energy and a nationalised railway. ”

    Much more honest than the Sunak/CCHQ bogus attack

  47. GaryC
    June 5, 2024

    “I do think Conservative Ministers have learned this lesson.”

    I don’t! There is absolutely no proof of this.

    All we have heard is promise after promise followed by excuses.

  48. Original Richard
    June 5, 2024

    To destroy a country :

    Open the borders to millions of people with alien cultures of the past and coordinate with the state broadcaster to divide the country up into “communities”

    Introduce a cult pushed by the state broadcaster, who never allows any opposing views to be expressed (definition of a cult), with the intention to sabotage the nation’s access to cheap, abundant reliable energy causing deliberate de-industrialisation to achieve the goal to make the country as dependent and as economically and militarily weak as possible.

    Electrify the country so enormous sums need to be spent on electricity production, distribution and inferior devices to create a single energy grid that will be the target for all hostile cyber attackers as well as an energy system completely exposed to hostile attack.

    Replace meritocracy with diversity so government, institutions and businesses are populated by people who have no idea how to carry out their jobs.

    Use the state broadcaster to fry the brains of the population with political correctness to end free speech, the creation of hundreds of identities and how XY = XX

    I wonder if anyone has tried it?

    1. Original Richard
      June 5, 2024

      PS : Increase state employment and spend as much as possible to ensure taxes are high and to reduce private spending and individual control.

  49. A-tracy
    June 8, 2024

    The chap from Scotland’s SNP last night and the Welsh chap want lots more immigration, why haven’t you sent them more? They’re crying out for people, let them process the numbers and put them to work in Scotland. I don’t understand why your government didn’t do that?

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