Corbyn and Burnham to clash over Labour’s immigration policy

Jeremy Corbyn preparing for his Labour conference speech tomorrow
Jeremy Corbyn preparing for his Labour conference speech tomorrow
0
Have your say

JEREMY CORBYN will clash with his Shadow Home Secretary over immigration tomorrow as the Labour leader resists calls from within the party to propose reforms on free movement in Europe.

The Labour leader will promise to restore a fund, abolished by the Coalition, which helps areas experiencing high immigration levels if the party wins the next general election.

In his Labour conference speech he will also pledge action to stop migrant workers being employed on cheaper wages.

But a spokesman for Mr Corbyn confirmed it was “not an objective to reduce the numbers, to reduce immigration. It’s an objective to address the issues that are caused by immigration, that’s what the migrant impact fund is set up to do.”

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has been among those in the party calling for freedom of movement to be addressed as part of Britain’s talks with Brussels over leaving the European Union.

Many in Labour ranks are worried core voters’ concerns about the issue are not being tackled and are fuelling support for the UK Independence Party.

Underlining the tension on the issue in the party, Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham will say tomorrow that in June’s referendum “millions of our lifelong supporters voted to leave the EU and voted for change on immigration” as he calls for Labour to be the “fair-Brexit” party.

Mr Burnham’s call will be harder for Mr Corbyn to ignore as the Shadow Home Secretary was not among those frontbenchers who took part in the mass resignation earlier this year in protest at his leadership.

Elsewhere in his speech which will bring the Liverpool gathering to a close, Mr Corbyn will use the prospect of a snap general election to try and unite the party.

He will say: “The central task for the whole Labour Party is to rebuild trust and support to win the next general election and form the next government. That is the government I am determined to lead, to win power to change Britain for the better.

“But every one of us knows that we will only get there if we accept the decision of the members, end the trench warfare and work together to take on the Tories.

“Anything else is a luxury that the millions of people who depend on Labour cannot afford.

“Whatever the Prime Minister says about snap elections, there is every chance that Theresa May will cut and run for an early election.

“So I put our party on notice today. Labour is preparing for a general election in 2017, we expect all our members to support that effort, and we will be ready whenever it comes.”