Thursday, April 14, 2011

Immigration Tension in UK Government

David Cameron accused of breaching immigration policy deal as rift opens

Tensions grow over 'tens of thousands' figure with 'incandescent' Vince Cable challenging policy interpretation

David Cameron says his immigration policy speech was 'an important attempt to explain why we are doing what we are doing'. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

The first major rift between David Cameron and Nick Clegg opened up after the Liberal Democrats accused the Tories of attempting to breach the agreement on immigration.

In a sign of tensions in the run up to the local elections and AV referendum on 5 May, senior ministerial sources dismissed Clegg's view of the policy.

The row erupted after the prime minister declared in his first major speech on the subject since the election that the government would cut net migration to the "tens of thousands" each year rather than hundreds of thousands.
Cameron also warned that immigrants unable to speak English or unwilling to integrate have created a "kind of discomfort and disjointedness" which has disrupted communities.

An "incandescent" Vince Cable, the business secretary who was not briefed about the speech, rounded on Cameron. "I do understand there is an election coming but talk of mass immigration risks inflaming the extremism to which he and I are both strongly opposed," he told the BBC...more

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