Ex-Cameron aide Steve Hilton: 'I wouldn't talk about my mate like that'

Ex-Cameron aide Steve Hilton: 'I wouldn't talk about my mate like that'

Hilton has hit out at Cameron's statements about migration

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Steve Hilton, former director of strategy for David Cameron, spoke to Sam Delaney about his time as aide to the Prime Minister, the EU referendum, and why he won't be sending Dave a Christmas card.

David Cameron announced a target to reduce net migration figures to fewer than 100,000 in his manifesto last year – but Hilton strongly disagrees that it's possible.

"You can't set a target in terms of people coming from the EU, because a core part of the EU is that people are able to move round freely.

"What you have to do is really clamp down on people coming from the rest of the world, and I think that is such a bad idea.

"What it means is people who could do really great things for our economy and society. I found that when we were in government we were looking for ways to stop them coming.

Sam quizzed him on his friendship with David Cameron, after Hilton said it was "weird" for him to appear making a statement urging people to vote Remain just two days before the referendum.

"Everyone in government has always known that has been my view, and they're the ones who are saying this is a really important decision that's bigger than any general election, therefore we should put it in a referendum and free it from normal political rules. So that people can really say what they think, and that's all that I'm doing.

"It was just a statement that didn't really make sense, as I said they wheeled him out to try and change the subject.

"I think in the end friends disagree about things. I didn't call him weird, I called it weird."

Nigel Farage also released a poster claiming the referendum was a "breaking point", but Hilton says most people on the same side still have different views.

"You can't determine who's on either side of that, and it doesn't mean you'd do things exactly the same as they would.

"The real point about this referendum is not about which side of an argument like that they you're on, it's about the fact that any government that wins any election doesn't actually have the power to deliver.

"It's really about something much deeper than the tactics of a campaign.

"We want to see an open liberal country that's engaged with the world and has a global outlook. I think people can see that pretty clearly."