More than 38,000 people have reached the UK in small boats so far this year – up by nearly 10,000 on last year’s number – the Home Office’s clandestine Channel threat commander, Dan O’Mahoney, told MPs on the Home Affairs committee this morning. 

O’Mahoney also revealed that while 93 per cent of those who have arrived have applied for asylum, only four per cent of the asylum applications from 2021 have been processed so far, due to a backlog.

With issues of immigration already beginning to blight Rishi Sunak’s premiership, the reappointment of Suella Braverman as home secretary – just six days after she resigned from the same role – will lead to questions over Sunak’s immigration policy.

Tensions emerged between Truss and Braverman after the former PM revealed immigration could be increased to boost economic growth.

Braverman’s resignation letter to Liz Truss revealed that the home secretary had “serious concerns about this government’s commitment to honouring manifesto commitments”.

Braverman added that her concerns included “reducing overall migration numbers and stopping illegal migration, particularly the dangerous small boats crossings”.

During the Tory party conference earlier this month, Braverman also said that ensuring the success of the Rwanda policy was her “dream”, while her “ultimate aspiration” is to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, from its current level of 239,000.

It is unclear exactly where Rishi Sunak stands when it comes to some of the intricacies of immigration policy. If the incoming PM leans towards the same stance as his predecessor – that Britain can afford to be more lax about immigration as long as it precipitates growth – he and Braverman could soon be at loggerheads. 

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