PMQs: Angus Robertson slams ‘xenophobic’ Tory conference

SNP leader says 'crackdown on foreigners' is too far even for UKIP

 

Angus Robertson confronted Theresa May over ‘xenophobic language’ and policies coming out of Tory conference in an exchange at today’s Prime Ministers’ Questions.

The Scottish National Party leader in Westminster said people across the country are ‘totally disgusted’ by her ‘crackdown and rhetoric against foreigners’, adding that even UKIP says she has ‘gone too far’.

It followed questions from Jeremy Corbyn about whether the government wanted Britain to stay in the European single market after Brexit.

The Labour Party leader also asked May to clarify her policy, announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd at Tory conference, of having companies list their foreign workers. May dodged both questions.

Robertson began by noting the rise of racial and religious hate crime, and received a firm condemnation of such crimes from the Prime Minister. He then cited the foreign workers policy, and said:

‘The crackdown and the rhetoric against foreigners by this government has even let to UKIP – UKIP – saying that things have gone too far.

Can I tell the Prime Minister that across the length and bredth of this land people are totally disgusted by the xenophobic language on display from her government.’

Robertson was referring to UKIP MEP Roger Helmer’s telling the BBC on Saturday:

‘In some ways she’s gone far beyond what we would have done. The idea that companies should provide lists of foreigners – if we had suggested that, if Ukip had suggested that, they would have been shouting ‘fascist’ up and down the street”.’

You can watch the whole exchange between Robertson and May on the video above, and read a transcribed version below:

‘AR: The European Comission against racism and intolerance has found a number of areas of concern over discourse and hate speech in the UK as well as violent racial and religious attacks.

Police statistics have shown a sharp rise in Islamaphobic, anti-Semitic and xenophobic assaults over the past year.

So does the Prime Minister agree that all mainstream governments, and all mainstream political parties, should do all they can to oppose xenophobia and racism?

TM: I’ve been very clear from this dispatch box on a number of occasions, there is no place in our society for racism, there is no place in our society for hate crime.

It’s right that the police are investigating allegations of hate crime where they occur. I’m pleased to say that as Home Secretary I was able to improve the recording of hate crime – bring in arrangements that improved the recording of hate crime.

We made also improving the requirements on police to specifically record hate crime in relation to faith so we see the anti-Islamic, the Islamophobia that has been taking place, as well as anti-Semitism and other types of hate crime.

There is no place for that in our society. We should with one voice from across this chamber make that absolutely clear and give our police every support in dealing with this. 

AR: May I remind the Prime Minister that when she was Home Secretary she put advertising vans on the streets of this country telling foreigners to go home.

And at her party conference we heard that her party is wishing to register foreigners working in the UK.

The crackdown and the rhetoric against foreigners by this government has even let to UKIP – UKIP – saying that things have gone too far.

Can I tell the Prime Minister that across the length and bredth of this land people are totally disgusted by the xenophobic language on display from her government.’

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

5 Responses to “PMQs: Angus Robertson slams ‘xenophobic’ Tory conference”

  1. CR

    Unfortunately it does seem to be the Tory Party that is promoting interests of British workers.

    That should be the job of Labour !!!

  2. oisinthered

    Again Robertson pin-points a growing and serious problem in British society at the moment, exacerbated by the outlook and policies of the current government.

    Whatever one’s views pf the SNP, they have been and continue to be, a critical force alongside Corbyn and his loyal MPs and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party.

  3. Anon

    Angus Robertson is a nationalist.

    Weird.

  4. Jdman

    “Angus Robertson is a nationalist, weird!”

    So what does that make May?

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