PMQs: Rishi Sunak grilled over Suella Braverman and immigration in heated PMQs

Rishi Sunak faced questions over Suella Braverman and immigration in a heated PMQs – with Sir Keir Starmer hitting out comments on migration from the Home Secretary.

Sir Keir Starmer asked the Prime Minister to expand on comments from the Home Secretary that the the asylum system in the UK is broken. Going on the offensive the Labour leader asked "Who broke it?” as he cited a small percentage of processing migrants and the ongoing issue in Manston. Sunak responded citing that his party delivered a Brexit referendum and ending the free movement of people from the European Union.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded: “We can look at the record on migration policy.” The remark was met with a wall of noise from the Labour benches before Mr Sunak continued: “What did we on this side of the House do? We gave the British people a referendum on Brexit. We delivered Brexit. We ended the free movement of people. That’s our record on migration policy. It’s not something the honourable gentleman supported. He opposed it at every turn and it’s not what the British people want.”

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Starmer hit back stating “No-one wants open borders on this side of the House. They have lost control of borders on their side of the House. Four prime ministers in five years. It’s the same old, same old, he stands there and tries to pass the blame. If the asylum system is broken, and his lot have been in power for 12 years, how can it be anyone’s fault but theirs?”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

Hitting back, Sunak stated: “Border control is a serious, complex issue, but not only does the party opposite not have a plan, they have opposed every single measure we have taken to solve the problem, you can’t attack a plan if you don’t have a plan.”

Starmer also hit out at processing numbers asking the Conservative leader "Of all the people who arrived in small boats last year how many asylum claims have been processed?” stating that just 4 per cent of claims had been processed and that the Home Secretary had better chance of being the next Tory leader than migrants had on being processed properly – with the Prime Minister acknowledging that “not enough” asylum claims have been processed stating “That’s what we are going to fix. But the honourable gentleman raises this question, what do we do? We have increased the number of processing officials by 80 per cent.”

Prior to the questions from Starmer, Sunak has defended Home Secretary Suella Braverman amid calls for her to be sacked. Labour MP Meg Hillier said: “His Home Secretary has leaked information, is overseeing chaos in the Home Office and has broken the law asking the PM “What will she actually have to do to get the sack?”

Prime Minister Mr Sunak replied in the Commons: “The Home Secretary made an error of judgment but she recognised her mistake and took accountability for her actions.” He said Ms Braverman has set out “transparently, in detail a full sequence of events”, adding: “She is now getting on with the job – cracking down on crime, defending our borders, something I know the party opposite has no interest in supporting.”