John Kay told Robert Jenrick: "You failed."
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick was skewered on live TV after he was told his government had “failed” to keep its promise to reduce the numbers of people moving to the UK.
The last Conservative election manifesto pledged to bring the number below 229,000 a year.
But figures revealed two weeks ago showed that 672,000 more people entered the UK than left it in the 12 months to June.
Cleverly said the government’s latest package will bring that number down by 300,000.
His five-point plan includes banning anyone earning less than £38,700 from being given a work visa, and banning foreign health and social care workers from bringing dependents with them to the UK.
On BBC Breakfast this morning, Kay told Jenrick: “When your cabinet colleague David Cameron was elected back in 2010, he told us that you’d get migration numbers down to the tens of thousands.
“Thirteen years of Conservatives in government, last year net migration at 745,000. Why should people watching this morning trust you on immigration and to bring down the figures?”
The minister said the Cleverly plan was “the largest single set of measures ever” to bring down net migration and said the government was prepared to go further.
But Kay hit back: “It was in your election manifesto in 2019, a lot of people trusted you to deliver on that. A lot of people voted for Brexit thinking you would bring immigration under control.
“Isn’t this rush of policies now, ahead of a general election, an admission that you failed?”
As Jenrick insisted that the government had been working on the plans for some time, Kay interrupted to say: “You’re having to do it now because the numbers are so high - you failed.”
The minister said: “The measures we are setting out this week will make a real difference and they will begin to see the numbers coming fall very substantially in the months ahead.”
'Why should people trust you on immigration?'
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick was questioned on #BBCBreakfast about government plans to cut the record levels of legal migration
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) December 5, 2023