Cameron Defends Nepalese Nanny Hire as He Seeks Immigration Cut

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron defended his decision to hire a Nepalese nanny who later became a British citizen while his government is trying to reduce immigration.

The status of the premier’s nanny was made public last week after Immigration Minister James Brokenshire made a speech attacking a “wealthy metropolitan elite” who had benefited from cheap migrant labor while British nationals competing for the same jobs saw their wages fall. Cameron was directly questioned about his employee for the first time today.

“I have an excellent woman, Gita Lima, who looks after my children, who is a British citizen,” the prime minister told reporters in Bethlehem. “She came originally from Nepal. She has carried out exams and become a British citizen and she does a fantastic job. She certainly fits the description of someone who works hard and wants to get on.”

Cameron’s Conservatives have set a target of reducing net immigration, which rose to 212,000 people in the year through September, to below 100,000 by 2015. That stance has sometimes put them at odds with their Liberal Democrat coalition partners, who argue that too strict curbs will damage the British economy and say the Tories are “driven by panic” on immigration amid rising support for the U.K. Independence Party.

Cameron went on to joke about suggestions that he might have pulled strings to get Lima citizenship.

“I can confirm, as well, that I did not give her any assistance in these exams she had to take to become a British citizen,” he said. “She did once ask me one of the questions in the exam, what is the role of the British cabinet? I will not share the answer I gave.”

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