Tory MP 'bloody angry' as 'appalling' asylum backlog hits record 160,000

Julia Hartley-Brewer has slammed Rishi Sunak's handling of the migrant crisis as the UK’s asylum backlog topped 160,000 for the first time.

It comes as it was announced that thousands of asylum seekers will be sent Home Office questionnaires which could be used to decide their claims in a bid to cut the backlog.

It is understood about 12,000 people from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Libya and Yemen, who have applied for asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision, are thought to be eligible under the policy being launched on Thursday.

In December Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to reduce the asylum backlog by the end of 2023 as he vowed to “stop the boats” crossing the Channel.

Speaking to Conservative MP Marco Longhi, Julia said: "This is not what British voters wanted, is it? People are struggling with their own bills and putting food on the table. They don't want these people as their problem.

"That is a widespread view whether you're a Tory or a Labour voter!"

Mr Longhi said he would request an urgent meeting with the Home Office: "On the face of it, this looks just appalling. It just shows how out of touch the Home Office is; Suella (Braverman) has a mountain to climb.

"But just imagine what it would be like under Labour. Keir Starmer is the architect for open borders... and no one can believe a word he says.

"I'm bloody angry about it, but you just need more people like me banging the drum."