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UK Migration Hits Record High, Energy Price Cap Rises, Boris Johnson Doubts Number 10 Comeback

An estimated 504,000 more people came to the UK than left last year (Alamy)

5 min read

The UK has seen the highest net migration since the end of the Second World War, according to new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures published today.

An estimated 504,000 more people came to the UK than left last year, beating the previous post-war high of 390,000 set in 2015.

ONS data shows that in total more than a million people arrived in the country last year.

It is the first time since 1991 that more EU nationals have left the UK than arrived, with net migration of EU nationals at minus 51,000 for the year up to June 2022. 

Total immigration to the UK is at its highest level since ONS started recording the statistics in 1964 - with 1.1million people arriving in the past year.

The ONS estimated that net migration of non-EU nationals to the UK was 509,000.

Jay Lindop, ONS deputy director of the Centre for International Migration, said that a number of world events had driven up UK migration to the UK in the past year and that international migration patterns were “unprecedented”.

He said: “These include the end of lockdown restrictions in the UK, the first full period following transition from the EU, the war in Ukraine, the resettlement of Afghans and the new visa route for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas), which have all contributed to the record levels of long-term immigration we have seen."

He also commented that increased student migration was also driving the rise in numbers, as well as those arriving for "humanitarian protections".

Boris Johnson is doubtful he'll be Prime Minister again

Boris Johnson waving outside no10
Boris Johnson was asked whether he had any ambitions to return as prime minister (Alamy)

Former prime minister Boris Johnson has suggested that he believes his chances of becoming Prime Minister again are low after a recent leadership bid failed to launch, leading his former Chancellor Rishi Sunak to take the top job.

Speaking to CNN Portugal this week, Johnson was asked whether he had any ambitions to return to the top job at a later date, but deflected talk of a big comeback. 

"I've always said - I've said for about 20 years - that my chances of becoming Prime Minister were about as good as my chances of being decapitated by a frisbee or blinded by a champagne cork, or locked in a disused fridge," he explained.

"[...] I then did become Prime Minister so my chances of becoming Prime Minister again, I think those impossibilia cubed or squared." 

Ofgem announces energy price cap increase

Average annual energy bills would have hit £4,279 from January, according to statistics released by Ofgem today, but households will be protected by government intervention which will plug the shortfall.

Ofgem said this morning that its energy price cap will top £4,200 in the New Year, but the government’s energy price guarantee means that average homes will be limited to £2,500, increasing to £3,000 in the spring. 

Energy prices have spiked since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, with Ofgem altering the frequency of its price cap changes from every six months to every three in response. 

Government is now going ahead with energy saving public information campaign after much indecision

energy meter
The government is preparing a £25 million project to encourage people to reduce their energy consumption (Alamy)

Celebrities and ministers will lead a public information campaign across TV and social media to encourage people to reduce their energy bills this winter, according to The Times.

Earlier this year, PoliticsHome reported that then-Prime Minister Lliz Truss was being advised to launch a communications campaign to help tackle soaring household bills. 

Now, The Times has said that the government is preparing a £25 million project to encourage people to turn down their boilers, switch off radiators in empty rooms, and take showers instead of baths. 

According to the paper, advice to turn down thermostats or take shorter showers has been rejected amid concerns that those steps could affect people’s health.

Strikes roll on with Scottish schools, universities, post and transport

Transport secretary Mark Harper is due to meet with RMT union boss Mick Lynch today, for discussions aimed at averting a swathe of rail strikes over Christmas. 

Lynch, representing workers across the transport network, has demanded higher pay as the cost of living continues to rise. 

Harper has said the RMT must agree to major reforms in order to secure higher pay, and that pay increases in line with inflation is out of the question. 

Many schools in Scotland are shut today as a result of strike action, with workers in other sectors also walking out in other parts of the UK. 

Teachers north of the border have taken the industrial action over pay, and a revised offer was rejected yesterday, as unions have demanded a 10 per cent pay rise. 

Workers at the University and College Union have also walked out today, with the possibility that classes could be called off at 150 universities. 

The union say 70,000 staff will be taking part in the strikes, with more planned for Friday and next Wednesday. 

Postal workers have also begun a 48 hour strike, with more scheduled in the lead up to Christmas, including on Christmas Eve. 

Talks broke down between Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union in a long running dispute over pay and conditions. 

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