Boris Johnson defends talented immigrants settlement rights

25 Oct 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has called for "talented people" who have something to offer the country to be allowed to settle in the UK.

Mr Johnson has previously expressed his belief in encouraging skilled migrants to move to the UK, citing the benefits that such an approach can bring to British business.

At Mayor’s Question Time in City Hall earlier this week, Mr Johnson reasserted his views, using his personal stance as a "descendant of immigrants" as a basepoint, The Telegraph reported.

He observed: "I'm probably about the only politician I know of who is actually willing to stand up and say that he’s pro-immigration.

"I believe that when talented people have something to offer a society and a community they should be given the benefit of the doubt."

However, the Mayor was keen to note that he believed the government should continue to take a tough stance on illegal immigration: "You’ve got to be very, very tough in dealing with people who break the law. They are undermining the credentials and the hard work of everybody else."

Mr Johnson's comments put him slightly out of kilter with many members of the Conservative Party, who have expressed their support of the government's current attempts to reduce the number of people moving to the country on UK work permits.

There is some concern that his pro-immigration stance could damage any potential bid Mr Johnson might make for the position of Conservative Party leader, should the rumours that he has been considering the post prove true.