No 10 forced to check how David and Samantha Cameron's Nepalese-born nanny gained British citizenship
Comments by newly appointed immigration minister have exposed the Prime Minister to a charge of hypocrisy
Downing Street has been forced to check how a foreign-born nanny employed by David and Samantha Cameron came to be a British citizen, after a back-firing speech by a Conservative MP.
James Brokenshire, the newly appointed immigration minister, gave a speech this week which appeared to blame the “wealthy metropolitan elite” for jeopardising the employment prospects of working-class Britons by employing foreign staff.
The Camerons have never made a secret of the fact that they employed a Nepalese-born nanny, Gita Lima, who has worked with them for years and moved with them into Downing Street.
But Mr Brokenshire’s comments have exposed the Prime Minister to a charge of hypocrisy for doing exactly what his minister was railing against.
Questions were also raised whether the decision to grant British citizenship to the nanny had been influenced by the fact that the Prime Minister’s family pay her wages.
Phil Wilson, a Labour whip, said: “There must now be complete transparency and openness from the Prime Minister over any contact between him, his office and the Home Office regarding his family’s nanny. There should not be any delay in providing this information, so that people can be assured that he has acted appropriately.”
After some delay, Downing Street confirmed that Samantha Cameron had been named as the nanny’s employer on her application form. But it said neither of the couple had written a letter to support her application.
Nine years ago the Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett resigned after it was revealed that a fax sent from his office had apparently helped fast-track an application to renew a work permit by a Filipina nanny employed by a woman the minister had had an affair with. A subsequent investigation by the former civil servant, Sir Alan Budd, found no evidence that Mr Blunkett had authorised or even known about the fax.
Downing Street has denied any parallel between the two cases. Mr Brokenshire’s comments, in a speech on Thursday, could cause problems for other ministers, after the Labour MP John Mann demanded that every Cabinet minister should say “what staff they have employed from abroad”.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, was asked on his weekly LBC radio phone-in show whether he employs any foreign staff. His initial reaction was to refuse to answer, but later he said that one of his staff is Belgian.
Mr Brokenshire’s predecessor as Immigration minister, Mark Harper, resigned after he discovered that he had been employing an illegal immigrant to clean his London flat.
In his first speech since his appointment, Mr Brokenshire told a meeting organised by the think-tank, Demos: “For too long, the benefits of immigration went to employers who wanted an easy supply of cheap labour; or to the wealthy metropolitan elite who wanted cheap tradesmen and services – but not to the ordinary, hard-working people of this country.”
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