Robert Jenrick: Mass migration has made integration impossible

Robert Jenrick
Robert Jenrick says mass migration is responsible for breeding Islamist extremism and anti-Semitism - David Rose for The Telegraph

Soaring immigration levels have made it “impossible” for people to integrate into British society, a former Home Office minister has said.

Robert Jenrick claimed that a “naive” policy of mass migration was responsible for breeding Islamist extremism and anti-Semitism, while the police focused on threats from the far-Right instead.

Mr Jenrick, who resigned as immigration minister last year when he became disillusioned with the Government’s Rwanda deportation deal, said numbers should be cut to “tens of thousands” – echoing a former Conservative manifesto pledge.

On Friday, Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, warned there had been a “shocking increase” in extremist activity following the Oct 7 attack on Israel, when hundreds of its citizens were massacred by Hamas.

Israel’s attempt to destroy the terrorist group by launching a military campaign in Gaza has spawned pro-Palestine marches across major cities. Some participants have chanted “jihad” and “from the river to the sea” – generally interpreted as calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.

Speaking on GB News, Mr Jenrick told Camilla Tominey, The Telegraph’s Associate Editor: “You cannot resolve this problem, building a united country… built around British values unless you end this era of mass migration.

“We’ve been living in a time where up to a million people have arrived in our country every year, and it’s impossible to successfully integrate so many people.

“The level of migration we’ve experienced as a country the last 30 years has been unprecedented, and that needs to change.”

Net migration is estimated to have hit a record high of 745,000 in the year to last December, prompting warnings of a threat to community cohesion, housing supply and wage growth.

Police ‘too passive’

Mr Jenrick went on to warn that the police had been “too passive” in their response to pro-Palestine protests, and said authorities had mistakenly focused on far-Right terrorism instead of Islamic extremism.

“We don’t want to just manage these protests, we want to police these protests,” he said. “And many people, for example British Jews, have found the police to be too passive.”

“We need to have a much stronger policing presence on the streets of London and elsewhere,” he added.

“We have a problem in this country with Islamist extremism and we need a proper national conversation about that, and a strategy to tackle it.”

Mr Jenrick said that the people who projected the words “from the river to the sea” onto Big Ben should have immediately been arrested for using the “genocidal chant”.

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, said on Sunday that current levels were “too high” and that he would seek to shift Britain’s dependence on migration in Wednesday’s Budget.

“I think migration in limited numbers can be beneficial but what I think is wrong is this idea that you should get economic growth by allowing in more migrants,” he said.

“What we want to do, and what I’ll be doing on Wednesday, is saying, ‘How do we move from an economy that has been dependent on migration for growth to a high-wage, high-skill economy that is not dependent on high levels of migration?”