Keir Starmer and Yvette Cooper visit The Hague, Netherlands Picture: Keir Starmer on Flickr

The Tories hadn’t yet launched their full-scale racist offensive as their election campaign unfolded. But it is coming. Racism towards refugees, migrants and Muslims will be the Tories’ last card to stop themselves from being wiped out at the general election.

Meanwhile Keir Starmer has pipped Rishi Sunak to the post and last week announced Labour’s plan for migration. Starmer told the Sun newspaper last Sunday, “Read my lips—I will bring immigration numbers down.

I will control our borders and make sure British businesses are helped to hire Brits first.” He added employers had become “too reliant” on workers from overseas.

Training Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said last week that Labour would improve the training of British workers to reduce the need for overseas workers.

The Tories announced new rules this year after migration levels hit an all-time high in 2022. The family visas salary threshold has been increased as well as rules to stop bosses paying foreign workers less.

Cooper said Labour supported these rules but said their impact was “yet to play through”. Starmer added that the migration figure has “got to come down”.

Labour will look to reduce foreign workers in sectors including construction, IT, social care, health and engineering. Cooper also wants to lengthen the ban on hiring foreign workers that are given to firms that breach employment law by paying below minimum wage.

This isn’t to protect workers exploited by cruel bosses—but to stop migrant workers. The theme of all this is that migrants lower wages. This is a lie—it’s the bosses and the government who hold down pay.

We need stronger unions not stronger anti-immigration laws. Cooper refused to rule out sending asylum seekers to have their claims processed abroad but not necessarily on a one-way ticket.

And Labour would scrap the Rwanda deportation scheme— because it has failed to deport anyone. Attack Meanwhile the Tories flail for something to attack Labour on.

“A Labour government would allow open-door immigration, making the UK a magnet for illegal migrants,” said home secretary James Cleverly.

And they continue to pledge to “stop the boats” and end the use of hotels to house refugees. Sunak has promised that if he wins, the Rwanda deportation policy will be up and running too.

Meanwhile Labour would introduce a new Border Security Command to stop boats and “smash” smuggling using counter-terror style tactics to police the Channel.

And it would clear the asylum backlog—but to speed up deportations. Labour is playing a dangerous game by pandering to the Tories’ racism.


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