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PM joins illegal working raid as Government asylum targets falter

Rishi Sunak wore heavy boots and a stab vest as he joined officers on a raid in Brent, London, early on Thursday.

Luke O'Reilly
Thursday 15 June 2023 16:40 BST
Rishi Sunak said it was good to see the immigration enforcement team’s work ‘first-hand’ (Susannah Ireland/PA)
Rishi Sunak said it was good to see the immigration enforcement team’s work ‘first-hand’ (Susannah Ireland/PA) (PA Wire)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said there is “lots of work to do” to reduce asylum claim numbers as he joined immigration enforcement officers on a raid.

Mr Sunak wore heavy boots and a stab vest as he joined officers on the raid in Brent, north west London, early on Thursday morning.

It comes after he promised to abolish the backlog of around 92,000 asylum claims by the end of 2023.

However, Home Secretary Suella Braverman told MPs on Wednesday that the target will not be met at the “current pace”.

Asked after the raid about Ms Braverman’s comments, Mr Sunak said: “It was good to be out this morning with our immigration enforcement team and seeing first-hand their work to tackle illegal working.

“That’s an important strand of our work, to stop the boats and tackle illegal migration.

“And that’s because the criminal gangs use a business model that tempts people here with the offer of black market work.

“It’s not right, which is why we’ve increased resources for immigration enforcement.

“We’ve increased the number of raids like the one I was on this morning by 50% and we’ve doubled the number of arrests.”

He added: “But we’re not complacent.

“There’s lots of work to do, which is why it’s so important that we pass our Bill through Parliament, our Stop The Boats Bill, which will mean that if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay.

“We will be able to detain you and then swiftly remove you.”

Not long after Mr Sunak returned from the raid, Ms Braverman met French interior minister Gerald Darmanin in London.

The pair discussed UK-French co-ordination on topics including joint work tackling illegal migration and stopping the boats in the Channel.

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