Sunday 21st April 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

Toxic Tory Trots Out Phony Immigration Figures

Toxic Tory Trots Out Phony Immigration Figures

  • – an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, reporting on a classic case of Conservative creative accountancy.


“Net Migration Rate” (also known as the net immigration rate) is defined by The Law Dictionary as follows:


In the UK, it is the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that publishes the official figures for net migration.

The published figures account for the twelve months up to each successive date of accounting. Estimated net migration figures are usually published within a couple of months of the accounting date but the precise figures take a little longer.

Readers will recall that the Conservative/LibDem coalition led by David Cameron came to power following the May 2010 general Election. The Prime Minister promised to reduce net migration to below 100,000 during the his five year term of office.

According to the ONS:

  • “Final figures for 2010 show that annual net migration to the UK was 252,000, the highest calendar year figure on record.”

Again according to the ONS (published 26th February 2015), the most recent available figures (i.e. for the twelve month up to September 2014) indicate that the net migration was 298,000 (for the year up to September 2014).

This represents an increase of 46,000 – an increase of 18.25% (almost one fifth).

298,000 is a unexpectedly high figure, remembering that, in 2010, the Prime Minister promised to reduce net migration to below 100,000 during the his five year term of office. This he has failed to achieve by a factor of almost three.

Sir Gregory “Greg” KNIGHT [Con.] has served as the Member of Parliament for East Yorkshire since 2001.

He is presently campaigning as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate to retain his seat in the House of Commons in that same constituency.

On the subject of net migration (or immigration) – perhaps the single most contentious issue of the present pre-election debate – the reverse side of Sir Greg’s campaign leaflet Working Hard For East Yorkshire” makes very interesting reading:


According to Sir Greg, then – who is claiming that “We have cut net immigration by a third since 2010”, the present figure must be 168,000 (i.e. having decreased the 2010 figure of 252,000 by one third).

This is clearly a wildly inaccurate – in fact FALSE – statement, since the true figure (as we have already noted) is 298,000. The true figure is 130,000 higher the 168,000 that Sir Greg claims in his campaign leaflet.

It is to be hoped that Sir Greg will now take steps to recall his FALSE claims on net migration; to publish a correction in the various East Riding newspapers; and to apologise to his constituents for having so wildly misinformed them about his Party’s true record on net migration.

It is never easy to retain any respect for a man who seeks public office but hides from accountability when caught out misleading voters. Perhaps Sir Greg KNIGHT [Con.] feels that with a majority of 13,486, it really does not matter that he has been caught out making a self-congratulatory FALSE claim.

I have written to Sir Greg, offering him an opportunity to comment.

He responded ten minutes before my press dead-line:

Dear Nigel

Receipt is acknowledged of your Email, the contents of which are noted.

With regard to your comments, I refer you to:

If you have any reason to doubt this information, I suggest you contact the Chairman of the Conservative Party.


Greg Knight

As the author of six books dealing predominantly with political quips and insults, Sir Greg KNIGHT [Con.] has missed a rare and golden opportunity to flash off his self-vaunted way with words – arguably (perhaps inevitably) of a higher order than his way with numbers.

It would appear that Greg Knight is relying on figures two years out-of-date.

On the subject of misrepresenting the figures, I wonder if he is the only Con?

What if Greg KNIGHT’s misinformation on net migration has been propagated nationwide and every Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in the country is trotting out the same misinformation?

Let us take a look at the Conservatives’ web-site – the information that Greg Knight is choosing to rely upon:


Of course each candidate is personally responsible for the factual truth of the information included in her/his electioneering leaflet. That is why each leaflet must include the name of the publisher and the printer – the so-called “Imprint”.

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that the Tories are big on personal responsibility, so I look forward to seeing Robert GOODWILL’s leaflets. His Scarborough office was unable to provide one of his leaflets yesterday.

Perhaps his leaflet artwork is presently being amended?


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