Cameron under fire on UK immigration speech

14 Apr 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

David Cameron has come under fire from Liberal Democrat Vince Cable following a speech from the prime minister earlier today (April 14th).

Speaking to Tory party activists in Southampton, Mr Cameron said that the UK needs "good immigration, not mass immigration".

He highlighted the fact that UK immigration has been "took high … for too long", with 2.2 million people more people immigrating to the UK than emigrating between 1997 and 2009.

This number, the prime minister explained, is putting significant pressures on the country.

However, business secretary Mr Cable accused the prime minister of inflaming extremism and stated that his views were those of the Conservatives not of the coalition as a whole.

He told the BBC: "The reference to the tens of thousands of immigrants rather than hundreds of thousands is not part of the coalition agreement. It is Tory party policy only.

"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."

In the past, the business secretary has openly questioned the recently-introduced cap of UK immigration and the negative impact he believes it could bring to universities and businesses in Britain.

However, Mr Cameron has since defended his tough stance on UK immigration, stating that it is "moderate, sensible and reasonable" and challenging "anyone to read it and come to a different conclusion".

He added that the points that were laid out are "government policy" that has been agreed within the coalition in terms of what will help to control immigration levels.