Will immigration sink Rishi Sunak's government? Tory MP warns that voters will deliver a strong message at the general election

Wednesday 17th January 2024

Tory MP Jonathan Gullis has warned that voters will kick him out at the general election if his party fails to tackle immigration.

Speaking to TalkTV's Julia Hartley Brewer, the MP for Stoke on Trent North said the immigration crisis was among the top three issues regularly brought up by his constituents on doorsteps.

It comes as Rishi Sunak is seeking to win over Tory rebels ahead of a crunch vote on his flagship Rwanda plan, after the Prime Minister faced the biggest Conservative revolt of his leadership.

Mr Gullis said: "Legal and illegal immigration puts a strain on our NHS. There have been seven million new GP signups since 2010 which were all migrants.

"Despite Treasury orthodoxy that mass migration improves GDP, it never accounts for the dependents that will come over, the children who will need school places, the elderly relatives who need to use our NHS or our social care system.

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"Immigration is always brought up regularly by constituents to me on doorsteps and in town hall meetings I conduct. If we fail to delivery then I will be sacked as a member of parliament for Stoke on Trent North."

Allies of Mr Sunak have insisted there is only an “inch” between party colleagues, despite two deputy party chairmen quitting to join the ranks of the Tory rebels in the Commons on Tuesday night.

Some 60 Conservatives supported changes to the Safety of Rwanda Bill put forward by Tory veteran Sir Bill Cash, as right-wingers pushed to ensure UK and international law cannot be used to prevent or delay a person being removed to Rwanda.

But the scope of the revolt would be more than enough to sink the legislation and overturn the Government’s working majority if it were repeated at the Bill’s final Commons hurdle expected on Wednesday.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also told broadcasters the party was having a “lively debate” on the matter.

Senior red wall MPs Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith resigned from their party positions to vote in favour of changes tabled by Sir Bill and former immigration minister Robert Jenrick.