Javid pledges 'fresh look' at foreign doctors cap

By Greg Heffer, political reporter
Sajid Javid will take a "fresh look" at a cap on the number of foreign doctors as he departed from large parts of Theresa May's legacy in the Home Office.
The home secretary, who was appointed to the post at the end of April, also pledged to review the "hostile environment" policy towards illegal immigration and push to remove foreign students from immigration statistics.
In addition, Mr Javid notably refused to explicitly back the Conservatives' long-held pledge to reduce yearly net migration to the tens of thousands.The government has recently come under pressure from both Tory MPs and Labour to remove all health workers, amid NHS staff shortages, from the annual cap on the number of skilled workers allowed into the UK, which are limited through so-called Tier Two visas.:: Government facing High Court challenge over 'hostile environment' immigration policy
Javid pledges 'fresh look' at foreign doctors cap

Theresa May championed a 'hostile environment' at the Home Office
Mr Javid stressed it is "only in recent months" that the limit has been reached, but promised action, telling the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I see the problem with that and it is something that I'm taking a fresh look at."I know a number of my colleagues certainly want me to take a look at this, that's exactly what I'm doing."Mr Javid also used the TV interview to repeat his opposition to the term "hostile environment", championed by the prime minister when she was home secretary, with regards to the government's approach towards illegal immigration.The home secretary promised to review aspects of the policy, while branding the term "hostile" as "quite un-British".He said: "I've used the word 'compliant' environment and what that means is it's absolutely right that we have an environment in terms of our immigration policy that distinguishes between people that are here legally, and those that are here illegally."
But, Mr Javid admitted, there were "lessons to be learned" from the Windrush scandal about how the policy is implemented, as he revealed he has already suspended action that bans illegal immigrants from being able to open bank accounts in the UK.
Javid pledges 'fresh look' at foreign doctors cap

Tory MPs want NHS staff excluded from immigration restrictions
In a further departure from Mrs May's stance towards immigration, the home secretary said there is a "perception problem" with including overseas students in immigration statistics and that he understood the argument of those who want them removed from figures.Confessing he empathises with the view it is unwelcoming to those wanting to study in the UK, Mr Javid said: "It is something I've long considered and it is not my most urgent priority when it comes to immigration right now... but it is something that I would like to look at again."Despite referring to the Tories' pledge to reduce annual migration to below 100,000 as a "commitment" in the party's manifesto, Mr Javid refused to directly support the promise.Responding to the home secretary's comments on foreign health workers, Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "We don't need a 'fresh look' we need it sorting."We have a workforce crisis across the NHS with around 100,000 vacancies."Let trusts get on and recruit internationally and stopping blocking medics from coming here to care for our sick."
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The Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey said: "The home secretary will have the support of almost everyone in parliament to exclude students and medical staff from the immigration cap, but it's far from clear that the prime minister is willing to admit her long-cherished policy is wrong."I hope parliament can get to vote on this as soon as possible."
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