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Boris Johnson and Theresa May in Cabinet clash over illegal immigrant amnesty

2 min read

Theresa May and Boris Johnson have clashed after the Foreign Secretary repeated his calls for an amnesty for some illegal immigrants.

Mr Johnson locked horns with the Prime Minister as the Cabinet discussed the Windrush scandal yesterday.

He said that there needed to be a “broader” amnesty for legal and illegal migrants living in the country for more than a decade, provided that they were “squeaky clean” with no criminal records.

It is estimated that the move would result in 500,000 to 700,000 migrants being allowed to stay permanently in the UK.

But the Prime Minister slapped down the suggestions, saying that she was aware of the Foreign Secretary’s longstanding views on illegal amnesty and suggesting that the move would send the “wrong message” to the public who think illegal immigration is “very clearly wrong”.

According to The Spectator magazine, one witness to the row said that Mr Johnson was unflustered by the Cabinet spat.

But another said that the series of “short, sharp exchanges” had left the Foreign Secretary frustrated, prompting him to take further digs at the Prime Minister later in the meeting.

“He then went in on the EU customs union issue a little later as he was obviously very agitated and annoyed", they said.

The Foreign Secretary is one of a number of Cabinet ministers who have reportedly urged for a softer approach to immigration in recent weeks.

One Cabinet source said: “It was fascinating in that it was obvious that she wished for it to be closed down and he was keen to stamp his view in Cabinet. It was bad.”

The amnesty row is the second time in a week that the Prime Minister and her Foreign Secretary have clashed in Cabinet after Mr Johnson openly challenged Mrs May’s decision to reduce stop and search powers during her time in the Home Office.

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