August 13, 2013 – United Kingdom (Channel 4News) – Labour made a humiliating climbdown over immigration last night after its spokesman finally admitted opening the floodgates to Eastern European migrants was a mistake.
Chris Bryant said it was wrong to ditch controls on Polish and other workers in 2004 – and claimed far more came to Britain ‘than anybody had anticipated’.
The admission came in a speech dismissed as a ‘car crash’ before it was even made as Mr Bryant launched a U-turn on planned attacks on Next and Tesco over their use of foreign workers.
Critics pointed out the stark contrast with comments he made a year before the 2004 influx, when he called dire warnings about unrestricted migration ‘huff and puff’.
In a further blunder, he accused British workers of being ‘physically less mobile’ than other EU nationals in their search for jobs.
It adds up to a disaster for Labour on an issue likely to be critical at the next election, in a summer in which it is widely seen as having lost ground to the Government. Tory MPs condemned Mr Bryant’s ‘short-sighted intervention’, calling him ‘badly confused’.
Tory MP James Clappison, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘This is breathtaking hypocrisy, because of Labour’s multiple failures in failing to impose transitional controls and the huge increase in the number of work permits made available to workers from outside the EU.
‘Labour hasn’t got a leg to stand on.’
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- Labour FINALLY admits it let in too many immigrants by ditching controls on workers (dailymail.co.uk)
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- Chris Bryant: MP admits Labour Party let in too many immigrants by ditching worker controls (dailymail.co.uk)