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Rishi Sunak under fire from own MPs over family visa salary threshold ‘delay’ | Politics News

Rishi Sunak is under fire from his own MPs after rowing back on plans to lift the salary threshold for a family visa – with some Tories accusing him of “weakness”.

The prime minister said the government was “increasing the salary threshold significantly” to £38,700 in “early 2025” – a change from the original plan laid out by Home Secretary James Cleverly earlier this month.

The threshold for a family visa – which applies to Britons who wish to bring family members to the UK – was due to rise from £18,600 to £38,700 next spring in a bid to reduce legal net migration, which hit a record high last year.

But on Thursday night the Home Office quietly watered down the measure, saying the threshold would first be raised to £29,000 from the spring, and then increased in “incremental stages” – though no timetable was set for when the top figure would be introduced.

The climbdown has angered Tory MPs on the right of the party in favour of tighter migration controls.

David Jones, deputy chairman of the right-wing European Research Group, told the PA news agency it was a “regrettable sign of weakness” while Jonathan Gullis, a Conservative former minister wrote on X that it was “deeply disappointing and undermines our efforts”.

Former minister Sir John Hayes, chairman of the Common Sense Group of Tory MPs, told the BBC the earnings threshold should rise to £38,700 “quickly” to give people “certainty”.

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Robert Jenrick, who quit as immigration minister over the government’s stalled 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.”

Speaking to reporters while visiting ambulance workers in Lincolnshire on Friday, the prime minister insisted the government was doing “exactly as we said” in terms of raising the salary threshold for a family visa, but that the process would…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-22 16:22:00

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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