Rishi Sunak agreed and then reneged on a deal to cut legal migration by barring migrant workers earning less than £40,000 a year, Suella Braverman’s allies have claimed.

The former Home Secretary, who was sacked earlier this month, previously said she had struck a deal with Mr Sunak to help him become Tory party leader.

The Daily Telegraph reported it had seen a copy of the four-point pact, and it included a pledge to raise the minimum salary for skilled workers arriving in the UK.

Under the plan, the threshold was supposed to climb from £26,000 to £40,000; extended visas for graduates would end, limiting accompanying family members; and student visas for the 24 research-intensive ‘Russell Group’ universities would be prioritised.

The Telegraph said Mr Sunak had not signed the deal, but agreed verbally to it.

The row over whether Mr Sunak agreed to the terms in return for Ms Braverman’s crucial support to secure the Tory leadership adds to the pressure on him over migration.

Last week, the UK Government’s net migration figure for 2022 was revised upwards to a  record 745,000, after a surge in NHS and care worker arrivals, and student family members.

In comparison, the number of people crossing the channel in small boats illegally - the focus of so much political attention - is 28,000 so far this year.

The net migration figures led to Tory MPs demanding their own government get on top of the issue and cut the numbers of people given permission to work and stay in the UK.

READ MORE: Former Green leader calls for members to remove Harvie and Slater

However Mr Sunak today insisted the UK was open to foreign business talent at  a major summit intended to attract funding and high-skilled jobs.

The PM said “we need to do more” on migration and he would look at the number of dependents students are allowed to bring when they come to study.

Speaking at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace, Mr Sunak said: “I’m very clear that the levels of net migration are too high. 

“They need to come down to more sustainable levels.

“It is encouraging that the Office for National Statistics last week said the numbers are slowing but we need to do more.

“I have already taken action to tighten the number of dependents that students can bring when they come to study here.”

He added: “As we need to do more, we’ll look at that and where there are abuses of the system we will of course act. The levels do need to come down, they are too high.”

Addressing would-be investors at the event, he also said: “We don’t have the monopoly on talent in this country and we recognise that nearly half of our most innovative companies have an immigrant founder.

“So if you are an innovator, an entrepreneur, a researcher, you should know that the most competitive visa regime for highly skilled international talent is right here in the UK.”

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch said “much, much tougher measures” were being drawn up by Home Secretary James Cleverly to curb migration.

She told Sky News: “We know that there are many levers – the salary threshold is one, dependants are another.

“I am certainly in favour of us doing whatever it takes to bring the numbers down to a sustainable level … I don’t know what the plan is, but I certainly will be pushing for the strongest measures possible.”

READ MORE: Operation Branchform - Lawyers in 'cover-up' claim over lack of action

She also took a swipe at former PM Boris Johnson, who used his weekly column in the Daily Mail to moan about the operation of the post-Brexit points-based immigration system.

She said that Mr Johnson himself had brought it in, and the latest figures partly covered a period in which he was still in Downing Street.

“This prime minister, this home secretary and the rest of the cabinet, as well as all of government, will be working hard to make sure that we bring it down. As far as I know, the figures for the coming year will be lower,” she said.