PM's UK immigration remark 'not policy'

19 Apr 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Deputy prime minister Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg has claimed that aspects of prime minister David Cameron's recent speech on UK immigration are "not government policy".

Mr Cameron gave the speech last week and has already come to blows with business secretary Vince Cable over the issue.

Mr Cable called the PM's statements "unwise" concerning the subject of immigration and accused him of risking "inflaming extremism".

Now Mr Clegg has issued an opinion on the matter, focusing on the prime minister's promise to slash yearly migration to the tens of thousands.

The deputy PM made the statement during a weekend debate concerning the approaching referendum on an alternative voting system.

Speaking on the BBC's Politics Show, Mr Clegg said: "I wouldn't have used those words, I wouldn't have used that language."

Meanwhile, the shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper attacked the government's 'chaotic' UK immigration policy.

"Ministers need to explain urgently what on earth their immigration policy now is and whether cabinet ministers are actually prepared to deliver it or not," she said.

The government is in the process of integrating a number of changes to UK immigration, including a cap on Tier 2 work permits and significant changes to the student immigration system, which will start to come into force this week.