Labour defends EU jobs as Ukip showdown looms

A delegate arrives at Manchester Central ahead of the Labour Party Annual Conference.
A delegate arrives at Manchester Central ahead of the Labour Party Annual Conference.
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LABOUR has today repeated its EU jobs warning as prepares for a Ukip showdown.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna was this morning joined on the stage by Airbus chief Robin Southwell as Labour sought to defend jobs in the face of an EU referendum.

The MP’s speech is the first sign the Labour party is beginning to gear up for a heartland vote threat, with Nigel Farage bringing his Ukip conference to Doncaster later this week.

Mr Umunna told Labour’s Manchester conference: “David Cameron and George Osborne like to boast about the job numbers. But they ignore what it’s like to work in our country today. 1.3 million working part-time because they can’t find a full time job. People taking two jobs to make ends meet. Over 1.4 million zero hours contracts. No wonder people are so worried.

“Some – like UKIP – want to exploit these insecurities for their own agenda. Nigel Farage says he wants to keep the flame of Thatcherism alive. Well, to quote The Lady herself, “No. No. No.”

“We saw how Thatcherism divided and devastated so many of our communities across Britain. A divided Britain is not a stronger Britain.

“Now UKIP are seeking to take this division to a whole new level: scapegoating and setting different groups against each other. We won’t stand for it.”

Mr Southwell, who heads up the aerospace and defence giant, said the firm had become a global leader by working within the EU.

He told delegates: “We do not believe that Airbus Group would have achieved what it has in the UK to date without this country being an integral part of the EU.

“Our operations here simply could not have grown to this scale and breadth that we enjoy today if we were unable to enjoy the unfetted movement of people, capital, resource and technology. that the present arrangement provides.”