Rishi SunakGETTY IMAGE

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declared a triumph in clearing the asylum claims backlog, revealing that over 112,000 cases were successfully addressed last year, surpassing the initial target of 92,000. Sunak highlighted the efficiency of the process, addressing both legacy and current applications, with 77,000 final decisions and a record-breaking 51,469 asylum claims granted—the highest in recorded history since 1984.

Despite the impressive figures, Sunak’s announcement faced criticism, notably from former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage. Expressing dissatisfaction over the Channel crossing crisis, Farage accused the Conservatives of failure, stating, “Rishi Sunak boasts he has granted 50,000 new applications to rush through the asylum backlog. The Conservatives have failed us all.”

Former Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick resigned due to concerns about the Prime Minister’s commitment to ending Channel crossings, arguing that while backlog clearance is positive, it only manages symptoms, not the root problem. Jenrick stressed the urgency of preventing illegal arrivals.

The backlash extended to Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock, dismissing the government’s claim as “false.” Kinnock pointed out that the asylum backlog soared to 165,000 under the Tories, eight times higher than when Labour was in office. He criticized Sunak’s unfulfilled promise to end asylum hotel use, citing a 20% increase to 56,000 and an annual cost exceeding £2 billion to taxpayers.

Kinnock argued, “This is yet more evidence of an asylum system broken by the Conservatives,” emphasizing the need for decisive actions to address the root issues contributing to the crisis.

As controversy unfolds, questions arise about the government’s measures’ effectiveness, with critics urging a comprehensive strategy to tackle the root causes of the migrant crisis rather than focusing solely on processing backlogs. The ongoing debate intensifies, placing the government under scrutiny for its handling of the complex immigration policy challenge.

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