Did Cameron help his Nepalese nanny get British citizenship? Downing Street face questions over role in application
- Row erupted after immigration minister said uncontrolled immigration benefited only ‘wealthy metropolitan elite’ who wanted cheap labour
- Labour MP John Mann demanded the whole Cabinet come clean on their use of foreign workers
- Downing Street refused to answer questions about Mr Cameron’s nanny
- Mr Clegg was asked about his arrangements on his regular LBC radio phone-in
David Cameron is coming under pressure to say if he helped secure British citizenship for his Nepalese nanny.
Downing Street is facing questions over whether the Prime Minister wrote a letter in support of Gita Lima's application.
It comes after Number 10 defended Miss Lima as someone who 'wants to work hard and get on', following a speech by the new Tory immigration minister attacking the ‘wealthy metropolitan elite’ who relied cheap labour for help at home.
The row erupted after the new immigration minister, James Brokenshire, said uncontrolled immigration benefited has benefited the middle classes but forced down wages for the less well-off.
Mr Brokenshire's comments backfired after critics pointed out that the Prime Minister currently employs a nanny from Nepal and previously hired an Australian.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also admitted hiring a Belgian ‘lady’ as a ‘home help’.
Labour MP John Mann demanded that the whole Cabinet come clean on their use of foreign workers.
‘We need every Cabinet minister to declare what staff they have employed from abroad,’ he said.
‘They should be seeking out British staff. It is total hypocrisy. They need to make up their minds on this.’
After initially refusing to comment on the Prime Minister's use of foreign workers, Downing Street last night defended his decision not to hire UK-born staff.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: 'We have always said we want people who want to work hard and get on. Do we want the brightest and the best? Yes we do.
'And that would absolutely include, for example, Mr and Mrs Cameron's nanny as someone who wants to work hard and get on.
'As a result of coming to this country and working hard and getting on, she is now a British citizen.'
But today Downing Street refused to comment on whether Mr Cameron or his office had written a letter in support of the citizenship application as Miss Gima's employer.
'I am not going to get into these details,' the PM's spokesman said. 'The point is the PM's nany is someone who has come here, has worked hard and got on in life.
'I am not going to get into the application process of their nanny.'
In his first speech in the job, Mr Brokenshire told the Demos think-tank: ‘The immigration system we inherited was not designed to benefit this country or the people who live here.
‘For too long, the benefits of immigration went to employers who wanted an easy supply of cheap labour, or to the wealthy metropolitan elite who wanted cheap tradesmen and services, but not to the ordinary, hard-working people of this country.
‘Those who tend to lose out most when there is uncontrolled immigration are manual and low-skilled workers who have to compete with an influx of people from poorer countries who are willing to work for less.’
Downing Street refused to answer any questions about Mr Cameron’s nanny.
But it is understood Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha employ a Nepalese woman, Gita Lima. She was recruited from a charity, Kalayaan, which helps immigrants seeking to escape abusive employers.
Originally from Nepal, she is now a British national. A second woman, Australian Sammi Strange, has looked after Mr Cameron’s children in the past.
Mr Clegg was asked about his arrangements on his regular LBC radio phone-in. He insisted he would not ‘get into’ details of his home life but later told listeners: ‘I have a lady who has a Belgian passport who helps us.’
The Home Office said Mr Brokenshire ‘manages the household with his wife’ and does not employ a nanny or cleaner.
In his speech, the Immigration Minister attacked the BBC for giving huge prominence to a report about the impact of mass immigration on the jobs market – without having read it. The BBC’s Newsnight had claimed the study by civil servants would undermine the Tory party’s case for stricter border controls.
In fact, when the previously secret report was published yesterday it said that officials found that some British workers had been ‘losers’. The group hardest hit was ‘low-skilled natives’.
The study – written jointly by the Home Office and Business Department – said: ‘Overall, our assessment is that there is relatively little evidence that migration has caused statistically significant displacement of UK natives from the labour market in periods when the economy has been strong.
‘However, in line with some recent studies, there is evidence for some labour market displacement in recent years when the economy was in recession.’
Mr Brokenshire said the study vindicated Conservative claims that immigration had damaged the job prospects of unemployed Britons, particularly those looking for low-skilled jobs.