10 candidates running for office at No. 10
The race for the Tory leadership continues with 10 candidates confirmed to be running to become the UK's next Prime Minister, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid has now picked up support, from Caroline Nokes and Victoria Atkins following Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.
From launching a family-focussed campaign video to calling for a “sensible and flexible approach on immigration”, the minister is currently fighting by the skin of his teeth against the formidable favourites of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.
While, his approach on immigration appears to be softer than Mrs. May's proposed measures of curbing net migration, it must be noticed that the Home Secretary is yet to make a statement on the data released by the National Audit Office (NAO). The report released by the NAO had stated concerns regarding the Home Office's inappropriate treatment of some of the international students whose visas had been cancelled following the BBC Panorama programme. However, today the minister of Pakistani origin has promised of a more business-friendly immigration system if he becomes the Prime Minister.
“Immigrants help to create jobs, they don’t take jobs. It is something that we can take a much more sensible, flexible attitude to,” Javid had said at an event organised by British Future.
Dumping “white paper” and £30,000 minimum salary cap
In a marked shift from Theresa May’s hardline stance on achieving a target number of net migration, he has also proposed to dump her controversial “white paper” policy which states that EU migrants should earn at least £30,000 to be considered for admission in the UK.
Earlier in the year, at the Asian Voice Charity Awards, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan had called for similar preferential norms for Indian companies and students as those offered to China in order to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) from India into London. Attacking Mrs. May's Hostile Environment policy, Khan said, "The government's got to make it easier for businesses to come to London. Immigration policies have got to change, it's got to be easier for Indian students and business people to come here.”
But, the Conservative manifesto pledged to cap migrant arrivals at tens of thousands instead of the hundreds of thousands. However, recently, Javid added that Britain must take a “sensible attitude” towards foreign students and make it an attractive country for them if they wish to stay on and work here after completing their education. Javid reiterated this argument in an article for the Financial Times where he emphasised-
“It makes no sense to send some of the brightest and most enterprising people in the world straight home after their time here.”
His announcement has been welcomed by Jo Johnson, the former Universities Minister who is seeking to amend the Immigration Bill to change the six-month limit back to its previous timeline of two years. Immigration has been a key factor in the EU referendum vote of 2016, with those who campaigned for leaving Europe stressing that UK could restrict the number of new arrivals once Brexit was delivered.
Tax cuts, Brexit and assisting young renters
But aside from his approach on immigration, his manifesto also includes the warning the warring Conservative MPs that he would “be tough” with Brexit rebels and claim a mandate to discipline any who try to block a Brexit deal. Additionally, he had promised to consider tax cuts “when it is affordable” and to prioritise people on lower incomes. He, has also offered young renters a cut in costly deposits charged by landlords, from five to four weeks rental for properties with rental value below £50,000.
Javid faces competition from Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, Former Chief Whip, Mark Harper, Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Former Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, Former Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, Former Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab and International Development Secretary, Rory Stewart