Rishi Sunak worked “incredibly closely” with house secretary, Suella Braverman, of immigration policy, Downing Street said.
A No 10 spokesman added that the prime minister would not “put a number” on his ambition to lower overall migration but that he would “take stock” of official net migration figures to be released later. this month.
“[The prime minister] specifically said ‘I’m not going to put a number on it.’ We don’t know what the numbers will be next week and we will be looking at those,” Downing Street said, adding:
But of course, the prime minister spoke to his cabinet colleagues and the home secretary in particular, they are working very well on the ‘stop the boats’ bill and the work the government is doing to try to tackle illegal immigration.
Of course the prime minister will work closely with cabinet ministers on the ambition to reduce overall migration.
It’s family photo time at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, today. Here are the leaders, including Britain’s Rishi Sunak, in Itsukushima shrine this morning.
The BBC Board has commissioned a review of the broadcaster’s coverage of migration, including small boats crossing the Channel, to “consider whether the cause of impartiality is provided”, the corporation said.
The review will be jointly led by Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Oxford University-based Migration Observatory, and Samir Shah, the chief executive of the independent television and radio production company Juniper, PA Media reported.
It will also explore coverage of topics such as the government’s policy of sending migrants to Rwanda, the impact of migration on UK communities, and the reception of refugees from Ukraine.
The chairman of the BBC, Richard Sharp, said:
Madeleine Sumption and Samir Shah are renowned for their expert understanding of the issues involved in delivering impartial coverage of migration, which is an important and often hotly contested topic.
Their combination of evidence-based academic research and working knowledge of broadcasting impartiality make them well-qualified to lead the thematic review of the BBC’s migration output. Their findings will ensure the BBC continues to have the right approach to producing coverage that audiences can trust.
The review work will begin “in the coming days”, the broadcaster said, as it committed to publishing its findings.
More than 200 BBC journalists in Northern Ireland are on a 24-hour strike to protest against job and program cuts.
The strike by the National Union of Journalists, which began at 00.15am on Friday, resulted in BBC Radio Ulster replacing its usual Friday fare – Good Morning Ulster, the Nolan Show, TalkBack – with content from Radio 5 Live. The station still broadcasts hourly news bulletins.
That action coincided with the counting of votes from the local government election held last Thursday.
“The decision to strike on such an important news day was not taken lightly and reflects frustration on the part of NUJ members,” said NUJ assistant general secretary Seamus Dooley. “They want to report the news instead of making their own headlines, sadly they find themselves in this situation.”
BBC journalists are protesting against the scrapping of Radio Foyle’s flagship two-hour morning show – replacing it with a 30-minute news program – and a reorganization of services in Northern Ireland transferring funds to digital services.
The corporation says it needs to make savings in certain sectors while investing in online services. “BBC programming across the region from Foyle has been increased and its staffing levels will be maintained,” a spokesman said. “Our engagement with staff and labor unions will continue.”
Rishi Sunak saw his personal family fortune fall by more than £200m last year.
Sunak, a former hedge fund manager and reputed to be the UK’s richest prime minister, and his heir apparent wife, Akshata Murty, are estimated to be worth around £529m in the latest rich list of Sunday Times, a fall from £730m in 2022.
Murty has a small stake in Infosys, a $64bn (£52bn) Indian IT company founded by his billionaire father. The value of that stake dropped, which pushed the couple’s wealth down.
Murty owns less than 1% of the business. The company’s shares have lost about a fifth of their value in the past year as investors worry about the future of India’s technology sector.
Rishi Sunak spoke to Ben Wallace about his bid to become the next Nato secretary general, after the defense secretary confirmed his interest in the job.
The prime minister hailed Wallace as “widely respected” among his international counterparts when asked about his self-proclaimed cabinet minister to succeed Jens Stoltenberg next year.
Wallace has long been identified as a contender for his role in supporting Ukraine after the Russian invasion, although the secretary general job often goes to more senior politicians such as former prime ministers.
The defense secretary has never said directly that he wants the job, but told German news agency dpa on Thursday: “I always say it’s a good job. That’s a job I like. But I like I’m also in the job I’m doing now.”
He added that the secretary general of the transatlantic alliance “is a unique job and NATO is an incredibly important part of all our securities”.
He added: “But it’s not for me to decide. This is for all other allies.”
Good morning and welcome to the UK politics live blog. We started with the news that Rishi Sunak set a new goal to bring immigration below the level he “inherited”, which was about 500,000 net arrivals a year when he became prime minister.
He revised his immigration target after earlier in the week backing down on the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto pledge to reduce it below a level of around 220,000.
Sunak said he would not put a number on the level of net immigration he would like to see but would like it to be below what it was when he took office. Figures released in November showed net immigration to be 500,000 for the year to June 2022.
Experts believe the net immigration figures for this year could come in between 600,000 and 1 million, prompting a backlash among Conservative backbenchers.
Speaking to broadcasters at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Sunak said he was “crystal clear” he wanted to reduce immigration, but when pressed for how far, he said:
I can’t put an exact number on it but I want to put them down.
The numbers are too high and we want to bring them down. Now, last year’s numbers were affected by the fact that we welcomed Ukrainian refugees to the UK. Also, that’s something I think we’re proud of.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to attend the summit in person as Sunak and allies seek to increase pressure on Russia. But more on that later.