Labour is coming under fire for its response to Amber Rudd’s anti-immigrant proposals

The home secretary is taking a draconian approach to slashing net immigration


Labour has been criticised for its weak response to multiple anti-immigrant proposals at Tory conference.

On a day when Jeremy Hunt proposed pushing foreign doctors out of the NHS, and Amber Rudd argued for slashing foreign student numbers and ‘shaming’ companies by forcing them to publish lists of foreign workers, Labour’s only response was this tweet from its press office account:

Critics, including Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, lined up to denounce the response. Many claim it simply fans the flames of anti-immigrant sentiment, and that Labour should be challenging the premise that immigration needs to be cut so drastically, rather than highlighting the Tories’ failure to reach an unnecessary target.

The goal of reducing immigrants to the tens of thousands was first introduced by David Cameron in January 2010, a few months before his election. His government failed to make any progress towards the target, prompting speculation that the May government would drop it.

However, Amber Rudd reiterated the government’s commitment to reaching the goal in her speech to Conservative conference yesterday:

“As you know, the Conservative Party was elected on a Manifesto commitment to reduce net migration to sustainable levels. This means tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands. And my commitment to you today is that I’ll be working with colleagues across Government to deliver this.”

Clearly, the conclusion of the new government has not been that the target was socially and economically unfeasible, but that the Cameron government had failed to take a sufficiently draconian approach.

The Conservative conference has showcased a new approach to immigration policy, driven by populism and xenophobia rather than evidence. If it’s to be considered a credible opposition force, Labour will need a robust response.

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4 Responses to “Labour is coming under fire for its response to Amber Rudd’s anti-immigrant proposals”

  1. Imran Khan

    We need qualified immigrants for specific jobs where there is a lack of home grown suitably qualified people. We must be selective and at the same time address the issue of why so many of our own young people are unemployed when we are bringing in people from eastern Europe to do jobs that they could. Under no circumstances should we allow unrestricted immigration from the EU or have an allocation of refugees. With their insistence on open borders the left is fueling any animosity to foreigners which in any case is grossly exaggerated.

  2. Susan Thomas

    I must admit that there is bad feeling against immigration at present. Lack of affordable housing, jobs taken by migrants, a struggling NHS and the fact that people believe we should look after our own first. This may not be what people want to here , but people are getting angry. I have had conversations with quite a few of them. Jeremy Corbyn does realise this, but will not put a number on migration or immigration. He did speak at conference about reintroduction of bursaries to enable training of people within the UK and investment in science and technology so new businesses could be started this way. His speech included a promise of full employment, social housing and fully funded NHS, re nationalising railways and support for small businesses to get them up and running and a reintroduction of the fund to support those areas more affected by migration. However, Labour are not in power yet and the Tory rhetoric is only adding fuel to the fire and cause further moral panic … and probably more racial tension in those areas worst affected.

  3. Carey

    This makes me feel sick! Scapegoating, deflecting, shallow politics and we are falling for it… as usual. “Johnny foriegner”. Its disgusting how the Tories and their ilk can twist their disgraceful political/economic policies, revolting employment practices and rampant and unchecked promotion of shocking inequality to the British people, who are largely buying it lock stock and barrel. I could write a history lesson on it – but then… surely everyone knows that?

  4. Imran Khan

    Carey. Can we have that in English please?

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