Immigration? Yes, we DID get it wrong, confesses Johnson

08:08 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Alan Johnson yesterday admitted the Government had mishandled immigration and that it is placing a 'strain' on jobs and services.

The Home Secretary said Labour had been 'maladroit' in its approach to the issue.

And he promised there would now be no 'shying away' from the subject - which is one of the public's top concerns.

The 'moderate majority' had not had its views heard, Mr Johnson said.

It follows explosive allegations that Labour engineered a secret plot to use mass migration to make Britain more multicultural.

The comments also represent a different stance for Mr Johnson, who previously claimed he did not 'lie awake' worrying about the population reaching 70million.

In a central London address to the Royal Society for the Arts, Mr Johnon said some parts of Britain were 'disproportionately' affected by immigration, with an influx of new arrivals putting a 'strain' on jobs and services.

Distancing himself from his predecessors, he said ministers had ignored for 'far too long' problems in the immigration system that led to huge backlogs of asylum seekers and foreign national prisoners.

He added: 'I want to talk about immigration today, tomorrow, next week and on any occasion I can.'

Mr Johnson said he believed the moderate majority want immigration to be carefully controlled, while accepting it has enriched Britain's culture, and was good for the economy.

At the same time as accepting genuine refugees, they wanted Britain to send home illegal immigrants, failed asylum seekers and foreign national prisoners.

He said: 'Whilst I accept that governments of both persuasions, including this one, have been maladroit in their handling of this issue, I do believe that the UK is now far more successful at tackling migration than most of its European and north American neighbours.

As I've said, our record is not perfect. When we came in to government in 1997, there was no magic button we could push immediately to resolve all the historic, political and operation problems associated with immigration.'

He added: 'The legacy problems with unreturned foreign national prisoners and asylum seekers may have accumulated under previous administrations, but they continued to be ignored for far too long on our watch.'

Mr Johnson also outlined principles in the debate on immigration which he said should be accepted by everyone.

He said there was 'no sensible argument' for immigration to cease altogether, and an acceptance that some communities more affected by immigration than others had 'legitimate concerns about the strain that the growth in the local population has placed on jobs and services'.

He also said those who come to live here should learn the language, obey the laws and pay tax.

But he dismissed as 'complete and utter nonsense' the claims made by former Labour adviser Andrew Neather that Labour had intended to make Britain more multicultural in order to portray the Tories as racist.

His call for a debate on immigration is designed to tackle head on critics who say Labour's stubborn refusal to justify its policies has played into the hands of the BNP.

But opposition MPs criticised his remarks. Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: 'Three months ago the Home Secretary said he isn't losing sleep over immigration.

'Now he's admitting that it's putting massive pressure on many communities.

'And he's reverting to the old days when Labour accused Conservatives of dog whistle politics, rather than dealing with the issues in a sensible and measured way.'

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: 'This apology is three million immigrants too late. continues here

Related Posts by Categories

Post a comment on AAWR

0 Responses to "Immigration? Yes, we DID get it wrong, confesses Johnson"

Post a Comment

We welcome contributions from all sides of the debate, at AAWR comment is free, AAWR may edit and/or delete your comments if abusive, threatening, illegal or libellous according to our understanding of, no emails will be published. Your comments may be published on other nationalist media sites worldwide.