David Cameron defends hiring Nepalese nanny

The Prime Minister was asked about his Nanny Gita Lima while he was on a trip to the Middle East

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The Independent Online

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended his decision to employ a nanny of Nepalese origin to look after his children, but maintained that immigration figures are too high.

His comments came after Home Office Minister James Brokenshire said that the wealthy had gained from Britain's open borders because it allowed them to hire cheap migrant workers as staff.

But Downing Street has insisted that the Prime Minister followed all the “proper processes” when his nanny Gita Lima made her application for British citizenship in 2010.

Samantha Cameron, the Prime Minister’s wife, was named as her employer on the application but neither she nor Mr Cameron wrote letters in support, Number 10 added.

Mr Cameron revealed that he did not help her prepare for the citizenship test that potential British nationals are required to take.

When asked about Ms Lima at a press conference during his visit to the Palestinian territories, Mr Cameron said: “I have an excellent woman, Gita Lima, who looks after my children, who is a British citizen who came originally from Nepal.

”She carried out her exam to become a British citizen and does a fantastic job and fits the description of someone who wants to work hard and get on.

“I didn't give her any assistance in those exams you take to become a British citizen. One of the questions is 'What is the role of the British Cabinet?' I won't share with you the answer I gave.”

Mr Cameron also defended the coalition Government's record on immigration despite a sharp increase in the latest set of figures, which has cast doubt on his ability to hit his target of reducing net migration below 10,000 by 2015.

Asked if he would now abandon the target, Mr Cameron said: “On immigration, we have a very clear argument, which is to say that it has been too high and needs to come down.

”It has come down across the course of this Government by almost 20 per cent. We have brought immigration from outside the EU down by something like one third to its lowest level since 1998.

“We have put in place a cap on economic migration from outside the EU because we should be training British young people to do more of the jobs that are available.

"We have closed down around 700 bogus colleges because people were abusing the student route into Britain, and taken a range of steps to make sure family reunion is family reunion and not another way of breaking the rules," he added.

Mr Cameron has employed Ms Lima for several years since recruiting her through from Kalayaan, a charity that helps immigrants to escape abusive bosses.

She took a temporary leave of absence in 2012, during which an Australian nanny filled in.

Additional reporting by PA