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Willetts slams May over 96,000 foreign students claim

Home Secretary Theresa May has been criticised by a former colleague for using "unreliable" statistics to call for tougher restrictions on foreign students coming to Britain to study.

David Willetts and Theressa May Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment/John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ex-universities minister David Willetts took exception to Mrs May's claim that 96,000 more students were arriving in the country each year than were leaving.

In an article for the Sunday Times, Mrs May wrote: "The gap between the number of non-EU students coming to this country and departing each year is 96,000 - half the net migration from beyond the EU."

But Mr Willetts - who left government last year and is soon to join the House of Lords - said the figure was "not a solid basis for policy".

People who come here to study should study, perhaps do some post study work and then go back to their country...We are selling them a service, we reap a lot of benefits from that, but studying in Britain is not and should not be a means to settlement. My disagreement I'm afraid is that the particular figures that were being cited ... for number of students staying on is very unreliable. It is a widely disputed and doubted figure and would not be a solid basis for policy.

– David Willetts


Business chief disagrees with May on EU movement

The Confederation of British Industry's director John Cridland has disagreed with Home Secretary Theresa May who has called for the reinstatement of the original free movement principles within the EU, saying people should only be allowed to move freely within the EU if they have a job waiting for them.

Theresa May has spoken out about a return to Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The evidence shows that the vast majority of people coming from the EU to the UK come to work and benefit our economy. Our hospitals and care homes couldn't function without overseas workers... But the system must be about freedom to work, not for the minority who do not contribute, so the Government should continue to work with our European partners to make sure the rules are fit for purpose for everyone. We'd be concerned if EU workers had to be hired for a job before coming to the UK though, as this would cause issues for firms without the capacity to advertise and recruit across the whole of Europe.

– John Cridland, CBI Director General


May rules out water cannon use in England and Wales

Police will not be able to use water cannon to control serious public disorder, Theresa May has confirmed.

Police use water canon in the Cloughfern area of Newtownabbey, Belfast, in 2013. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The Home Secretary said she had decided not to authorise forces in England and Wales to deploy the Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000.

The Metropolitan Police has said it is "naturally disappointed" by Theresa May's decision.

The move could pave the way for a row after London mayor Boris Johnson approved the purchase by Scotland Yard of three of the cannon second-hand from German police last year at a cost of more than £200,000.

Theresa May: Around 40 terror plots foiled since 7/7

Around 40 terror plots have been foiled in the last 10 years in the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

Theresa May speaking to the BBC. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

Mrs May confirmed that the Government was expecting more British fatalities after a deadly attack on a Tunisian beach resort left at least 15 Britons dead.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show about the threat facing the UK, the Home Secretary said: "Yes, a number of plots have been stopped.

"Over the last ten years it's estimated that something like 40 plots have been disrupted here in the UK."

She said the security services have had to cope with a more "diverse" threat from extremists since the London bombings in 2005, including the possibility of lone wolf attacks.

Theresa May: Illegal workers' pay plan is fair

Home Secretary Theresa May has defended plans to seize illegal workers' wages, saying radical action was "only fair" to British workers.

It was revealed today that police will be enabled to seize the wages of illegal workers as proceeds of crime under new proposals set to be included in next week's Queen's Speech.

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain, Mrs May said: "I think it's only fair to working people, to people who are out there working hard and paying their taxes, that we do deal with people who are here illegally, who have no right to be here in the UK and should be leaving the UK."

Mrs May said the Tories' general election win would enable stronger action on immigration, but refused to comment on whether new figures released today would show an increase in migration.

Watch: War of words between Theresa May and police

The Home Secretary received her customary frosty welcome at her annual address to the Police Federation today, but if looks could kill, its chairman Steve White would not be long for this world.

The PFEW chair's jokes at her expense met with applause from the audience, and a murderous look from Ms May, who went on to promise further deep cuts to the police.

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