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Welsh MPs linked to right-wing Tory pressure group

04 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Wrexham MP, Sarah Atherton – Photo: David Woolfall, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. Aberconwy MP Robin Millar – Photo: Richard Townsend (CC BY 3.0).

Emily PriceNews Editor 

Two Welsh MPs have been linked to a right-wing Tory pressure group which has tabled a list of 12 demands to radically slash immigration in a bid to hold onto Conservative seats at the next election.

The New Conservatives was launched in May and formally announced its 12 point plan on Monday (July 3) which included calls for Rishi Sunak to meet Boris Johnson’s 2019 manifesto pledge on immigration.

The pressure group is made up of 25 MPs all voted into parliament in 2017 or 2019.

Included within the ranks are Aberconwy MP Robin Millar and Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton.

Although Ms Atherton does not appear on the official list of MPs attached to the report on the New Conservatives website, the Wrexham MP is thought to be part of the group.

Her Wrexham constituency had been won by Labour in all general elections from 1935 until 2019, when Ms Atherton became the first ever woman elected to represent Wrexham – with over 45% of the vote.

The New Conservatives claim their controversial new plans will connect with working class voters in ‘Red Wall’ seats previously taken from Labour in 2019 and which are seen as vulnerable going into the next election.

Although the group claims it is fully supportive of the Prime Minister they are demanding the government slashes migration in order to avoid breaking the Conservative’s 2019 manifesto pledge.

With net migration standing at 606,000 last year, the New Conservatives claim their plan will meet the 2019 pledge level of 226,000.

The 12 point plan includes a crackdown on visa schemes for care workers and also calls for university study visas to be reserved for only the “brightest” international students by excluding the “poorest performing universities” from eligibility criteria.

The New Conservatives have also called for the UK government to “rapidly implement” the Illegal Migration Bill which was mauled in the House of Lords on Monday.

The report says: “In 2019, we won our biggest majority in 30 years by promising a new political settlement for a post-Brexit Britain.

“We won with a manifesto that promised that there would be “fewer lower-skilled migrants and overall numbers will come down.

“And we will ensure that the British people are always in control. Voters across traditional Conservative heartland seats and new Red Wall seats alike placed their trust in us to keep our word.

“It’s time for us to honour that promise.”

The plan also recommends that the UK Government cap the amount of social housing that Councils can give to non-UK nationals and for the minimum language requirement to be raised.

Labour MP for Caerphilly, Wayne David said:  “The formation of this extreme right-wing group highlights two things: Firstly, it shows that today’s Conservative Party is riven with factionalism and cannot produce a sensible programme of government for the UK.
“Secondly, it demonstrates that although Liz Truss and Boris Johnson are no longer government Ministers, their right-wing ideas are still in vogue with large numbers of Conservative MPs, even though those kind of policies have led to misery and financial hardship for so many people.”

The sub-group has no official leader but has been organised by Penistone and Stocksbridge MP, Miriam Cates and Devizes MP and former aid to Boris Johnson, Danny Kruger.

25 MP’s are said to make up the New Conservatives but only 20 have been listed on the official website.

Reform

Lee Anderson, vice chairman of the Conservative Party, had initially been due to speak at Monday’s press conference but Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, said he was too ill to attend.

Mr Kruger said the group, along with his party, were rallying against the “establishment” when it came to migration reforms.

Downing Street said the Government had no plan to remove care workers from the shortage occupation list and downplayed the prospect of blocking foreign university students from staying in the UK after graduation – another recommendation made by the New Conservatives group.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman refused to say whether Mr Sunak was frustrated by Mr Anderson’s support for tougher migration rules but acknowledged there were “different views on each side”.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman faced a question from Tory MP James Daly in the Commons about raising the main skilled work visa salary threshold to £38,000 per annum, a recommendation made in the New Conservative’s report.

Mrs Braverman told him she recognised that “net migration is too high” and that overall numbers needed to be reduced.

She earlier told MPs: “We expect net migration to return to sustainable levels over time and immigration policy is under constant review.”


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Llyn
Llyn
9 months ago

Or perhaps the headline should read “Welsh MPs members of right-wing British nationalist xenophobic Tory pressure group”

Gareth
Gareth
9 months ago

It must be reassuring for the constituents of these MP’s to know, that while they worry the mortgage rate is over 6%, food inflation forcing people to stretch the weekly budget, supermarkets profiteering from the price of fuel, and the economy the worst performing in the G7, their elected representative is working hard on what level of pay a migrant worker should get on arrival. I bet the people who voted these into office will sleep easier tonight knowing these MP’s are at the forefront of fighting immigration.

Marc
Marc
9 months ago

One last throw of the dice before they are kicked out at the next election

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
9 months ago
Reply to  Marc

We can but hope, and it would be a bit of a surprise if they’re not, but it won’t be as a result of Labour offering anything substantially better, but simply because the Tories are so crap.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
9 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

The UK has nothing to offer us for staying in this union.

Wales must build its own future as a country free from imperialism.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

Why am I not surprised at this revelation that these two extremists Conservative MPs Sarah Atherton & Robin Millar being linked to this right-wing pressure group. I find like attracts like. Flies around the proverbial so to speak. To be a Conservative in Wales first you must prove to your Tory HQ how much you hate your own country. Call it a form of initiation. where you show prove your hatred of Wales, the Welsh language and history in favour of adopting a pseudo English identity culminating with you wrapping yourself in the Union Flag. And if you listen to… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
9 months ago

I doubt whether a coherent political philosophy or ideology exists within that group. They are intensely selfish people and many selfish people find comfort in right wing, xenophobic, supremacist attitudes. If the wind changed tomorrow you’d probably find these turkeys facing in another direction politically as nothing much binds them to any cause other the instinct for self enrichment. They obviously haven’t heeded the calls from a variety of sectors for more immigrants to meet the need for ” more hands on deck”. Now that too may have a touch of exploitation in it but there will have to be… Read more »

Rob
Rob
9 months ago

Please Wrexham, please Aberconwy kick these people out next year!!! They have been helicoptered and couldn’t give a damn about Wales. They will constantly attack Welsh nationalism as narrow minded yet preach a more extreme form of British nationalism.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob

We just need to remind them that under the Tory ‘cut immigration’ policies the total of immigrants has actually gone up. (In so far as I can find figures for that – one might have expected the Home Office to publish easy to read statistics in one simple table but the figures are quite hard to find on the Home Office Website)

Last edited 9 months ago by Peter Cuthbert

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