David Cameron has denied that the coalition is split over tackling
immigration, after he was accused by a Cabinet minister Vince Cable of using “very
unwise” language which risked inflaming extremism.
The Prime Minister
rejected Business Secretary Cable’s criticism – insisting he was
dealing with an issue of high public importance in a “sensible,
measured, serious tone”.
Speaking to party members in Hampshire, Mr Cameron claimed the coalition has
already made good progress on efforts to bring net migration down to tens of
thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands.
He also encouraged authorities not be scared of “cultural sensitivities”
when it comes to clamping down on forced and sham marriages, which he
describes as “abuses of the system”
“I do understand that there are elections coming but talk about mass
immigration risks inflaming the extremism to which Mr Cameron and I are
both strongly opposed.”
He argued that Mr Cameron’s reference to cutting net immigration to
tens of thousands from hundreds of thousands was “not part of the
He added: “Much of the remaining immigration from outside the EU is crucial to Britain’s economic recovery and growth.
“That is why the Cabinet collectively agreed to support British
business and British universities by exempting overseas students and
essential staff from the cap on non EU migration.”