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I will not retreat from immigration pledge, insists Cameron

By Tim Montgomerie

The Prime Minister was interviewed from India for this morning's Today programme.


He made it clear that there would be no dilution of the Coalition Agreement's commitment to reduce net immigration into Britain from the "hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands".

The Daily Mail and other newspapers give prominent attention this morning to the Business Secretary's concerns about the immigration cap. Vince Cable is quoted as saying that the cap will be interpreted flexibly. Mr Cameron said that it was quite right for Mr Cable to argue his corner as part of grown up Cabinet government but he and the whole government were determined to restore order to Britain's chaotic immigration system.

On the general immigration challenge, Mr Cameron said that we want talented Indian and Chinese students to come to Britain but, in the past, too many students were coming into Britain to attend "bogus" colleges. He promised that immigration and welfare policy would go hand-in-hand from now on as the Coalition attempted to reduce the number of long-term unemployed.

Aid to India

He promised to review UK aid to India but implied that it would continue but be more targeted. He said that there were more very poor people in India than in sub-Saharan Africa.

The AV vote

At the end of the interview he accused Labour of "opportunism" for deciding to oppose the Coalition's AV plans. Although the last Labour manifesto included a commitment to reform the voting system Jack Straw has persuaded the shadow cabinet that it should not support the Coalition's Bill so long as it also includes an attempt to reduce the number of seats in the Commons to 600.


Mr Cameron said that 1940, when Britain stood alone against Hitler, was the finest moment of British history. He said that he meant to say 1940s rather than 1940 when he spoke last week of Britain being a 'junior partner' to the US during WWII.

10.45am: LISTEN AGAIN.


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