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Tory MPs criticise climbdown on family visa salary threshold | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has been branded “weak” by his own MPs after rowing back on plans to make it harder to bring family members to the UK.

The threshold for a family visa was due to rise from £18,600 to £38,700 next spring in a bid to reduce legal migration, which hit a record high this year.

But on Thursday the government quietly watered down the heavily criticised measure, saying the threshold would first be raised to £29,000 in the spring, and then increased in “incremental stages” – though no timetable was set for when the top figure will apply.

A family visa allows British citizens to bring foreign family members, such as a partner or child, to the UK if they earn enough money.

The climbdown has angered hardline Conservative MPs in favour of tighter migration controls.

David Jones, deputy chairman of the right-wing European Research Group, told the PA news agency on Friday: “The latest net migration figures very starkly showed the extent of the crisis we face. Increasing the threshold was absolutely necessary to address that crisis.

“The government should have stuck to its guns. Yesterday’s decision was a regrettable sign of weakness, made worse by the fact that parliament was not sitting and therefore was unable to interrogate ministers on the reasons for the decision.”

Jonathan Gullis, a Conservative former minister, wrote on X: “This decision is deeply disappointing and undermines our efforts.”

Robert Jenrick, who quit over the Rwanda plan, was also among the critics, with a source close to him saying: “The whole package needs to be implemented now, not long-grassed to the spring or watered down. More measures are needed, not less.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-22 11:01:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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