The Prime Minister has been challenged on whether a “curse of Clegg” will further damage Government policies on immigration after city MP Stewart Jackson claimed the Deputy Prime Minister had undermined the migrant cap.
Mr Jackson raised the issue in Prime Minister’s Questions, claiming Nick Clegg’s influence had ensured the policy – aimed at bringing immigration levels from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands – was ineffective because it allowed internal company transfers.
However, Prime Minister David Cameron defended the policy in the Commons exchange.
Mr Jackson said: “Will you close the loophole from multi-national companies that allows the migrant cap to be flouted using inter-company transfers, or is this another tough immigration policy which will fall victim to the curse of Clegg?”
Mr Cameron replied: “I think you are being unfair. We do have a tough migrant cap for migrant workers. Business said how important it was to have inter-company transfers and only at relatively high salary levels.
“That is what we put in place and I think that demonstrates that over time we will be able to both control immigration and do so in a way that doesn’t damage business.”
Later in the session, the attacks on Mr Clegg continued when Mr Cameron was forced to confront directly for the first time questions over who would take over Government were he to be “incapacitated”.
In recent months, Tory MP fro Wellingborough Peter Bone has asked the question to several Cabinet ministers, and Mr Clegg, Mr Cameron’s deputy.
He has said previously he does not believe Mr Clegg should be first in line and called for clarification.
Mr Bone said today: “Under Tony Blair’s regime, we could sleep safely at night because we knew Lord Prescott would take over if Tony Blair was incapacitated.
“What would happen if you were incapacitated?”
Mr Cameron replied: “I’ve been waiting, for some time. I know you have asked this question to almost every single Cabinet minister, including the Deputy Prime Minister.
“I think he replied that you seem to have a morbid fascination with the end of the leader of the Conservative Party. All I can say is, I have no plans to be incapacitated.”
Following earlier questions, Lord Prescott has spoken out to say under the previous governments, the First Secretary of State was first in line.
He filled the role for Tony Blair, while Lord Mandelson took the job when he was brought into Gordon Brown’s government.
Foreign Secretary William Hague is the current First Secretary of State.
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