Labour left immigration system in a mess, says Harper

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper’s speech at the Labour Party Conference was hallow and contained no ideas on how to clear up the immigration mess that Labour left behind, the Conservative Party has said.

Addressing the Labour Party Annual Conference 2013 in Brighton, Ms. Cooper criticised the government’s immigration policy and divisive politics and called for a “mature and honest debate about immigration”.

She criticized the way the Tories were handling immigration saying they “are getting things wrong too.”

“Border controls have been reduced. Electronic checks delayed. Searches for stowaways stopped. Fewer foreign criminals sent home. The number of people refused entry at the border has halved. Yet top business visas are being delayed. And university students – bringing billions of investment in – have been put off. While human trafficking is going up,” said Ms. Cooper.

Reacting to Ms. Cooper’s speech, the Conservative Party accused the Labour Party of failing to control immigration when they were in office, with net immigration quadrupling on their watch.

Since 2010, Conservatives said they have capped economic migration from outside Europe; tightened up student visa rules and closed bogus colleges; and made family visa rules more robust and selective.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: “Conservatives have cut net immigration by a third since 2010 but shamefully Labour have opposed every single step we have taken to achieve that. Labour let the British people down badly when they were in office with uncontrolled immigration, net migration of more than 2.2 million and abuse of the visa system which was rife.

“It is clear that the same old Labour Party have learned nothing from their past mistakes. They have no idea how to control immigration so that it works in our national interest. They have no credibility on this issue and the British people will never trust them on it again.”

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