David Cameron to lead new immigration taskforce


David Cameron is to take personal charge of an immigration taskforce which has been set up to oversee delivery of policy pledges.

Part of its remit will be to deliver on the Conservatives’ promise to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands”.

In all, 10 taskforces are being created which will be chaired by ministers and track policy implementation progress.

The move echoes Tony Blair’s No 10 “Delivery Unit”, which was abolished by the coalition government in 2010.

Net migration target

The immigration taskforce’s remit includes reducing net migration to the UK from hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands – a pledge that was not met in the last Parliament.

In May, the prime minister vowed that he would not give up on his aim, despite net migration rising by 50% to 318,000 last year – its highest level for a decade.

The group’s terms of reference also include controlling migration from the European Union, by reforming welfare rules and “reducing reliance on migrant labour”, among other measures.

The first meeting of David Cameron's Conservative cabinet after the election
The various taskforces will be chaired by senior ministers

These are central to Mr Cameron’s renegotiation with European leaders ahead of the planned in/out referendum on the EU, which is to be held by 2017.

Membership of the taskforce includes senior cabinet members, among them Home Secretary Theresa May and Chancellor George Osborne.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin, the government’s policy tsar, will also be a member. He will also chair the cabinet committee on home affairs.

Cabinet committees

Taskforces have also been set up to oversee progress in the following areas: troubled families, exports, digital infrastructure, health and social care, “earn or learn” and foreign fighters returning to the UK from Syria and Iraq.

In addition, the PM will also take the lead on the cabinet committee on Europe, which is aimed specifically at considering issues related to the EU referendum.

Membership includes senior ministers Mr Osborne, Mrs May and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

A separate cabinet committee chaired by Mr Hammond will consider other issues related to the EU.

In all, there will be 14 committees, including the national security committee and its sub committees – all of which will be steered by Mr Cameron.

Each will report to the cabinet and the prime minister on specific policy areas and decisions made.

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