Kemi Badenoch has vowed to do ‘whatever it takes to fix the small boat problem’ as she put immigration control at the center of her campaign for the Tory leadership.
The former equality minister came in fourth place but many MPs believe she is well placed to pick up votes in the third round on Monday after impressing many campaigners with her performance so far in the competition.
MP for Saffron Walden has highlighted a focus on property, border control and family as the ‘first and best source of well-being’ as she and the other four candidates still in the running prepare for the second televised debate which will be shown on ITV. Sunday evening.
“Property should be distributed as widely as possible. Nations need borders. Family is the first and best source of well-being,” she wrote in the Sunday Times.
“People – rightly – recognize that building more houses without doing anything to reduce immigration is like walking up the escalator going down,” she added.
“We will never get where we need to go with this approach, and we will not persuade people to accept more homes if it is because of immigration failures. If we can bring immigration back to a sustainable level, then we can protect green space for our children and valuable farmland.
“It is therefore important to control immigration to manage the pressures it puts on housing and public services. Building trust in the government’s ability to control immigration is an important foundation for ensuring a cohesive society.
More than 14,000 migrants have traveled the 20 miles across the English Channel so far this year, sailing the world’s busiest shipping lanes from France in small boats like dinghies, according to provisional government figures. The total for 2022 is expected to be 60,000.
Interior Minister Priti Patel signed an agreement in April to send migrants to Rwanda, but legal challenges have prevented any departure.
Former equality minister Ms Badenoch said it was her belief in Britain’s sovereignty that led her to vote Leave in the Brexit referendum.
“I strongly believe that we must control our own borders and laws. I will do whatever it takes to fix the small boat issue,” she wrote on Sunday.
“I’m not someone who starts fighting for the headlines – and I want to focus on people’s top priority, which is the economy. But the economic problems of housing and immigration are inextricably linked.
“Just like the bond with the family. Family breakdowns increase the demand for housing, and the unaffordability of housing in many areas prevents people from establishing the family life they want. The family is the first line of well-being, and strong families reduce the need for a larger state.
Ms Badenoch pledged to ‘examine how our tax and benefit system can support family life and the joys it brings’, adding: ‘Consistent and conservative belief leadership is what I will bring if you m ‘elect to the post of Prime Minister.
His pitch came as leadership favorite Rishi Sunak tried to win over Brexiteers by pledging to scrap hundreds of remaining EU laws and regulations if he won the race.
International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt remains in second place, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is third and backbench MP Tom Tugendhat is fifth.