Diane Abbott: The Tories have weaponised immigration

Posted On: 
24th September 2017

The Conservatives have “weaponised” immigration, Diane Abbott will declare today.

Diane Abbott will address the Labour party conference today
PA Images

The Shadow Home Secretary will slam ministers for their refusal to drop “bogus immigration targets” and promise that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn will never “scapegoat migrants”.

At the general election, the Tories renewed their promise to get net migration down to below 100,000.

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Addressing the Labour conference in Brighton today, Ms Abbott will say: “The Tories have weaponised immigration.

“Tory opportunism on immigration is a disgrace. They continue to talk about bogus immigration targets, which they have not met and will never meet.

“They have pandered to anti-immigrant sentiment whatever the cost to the economy and communities.”

She will add: “There are real labour market issues. But the Labour party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn will not scapegoat immigrants for these issues.

“The watchword for our approach to immigration in government will be fairness and the reasonable management of migration.”

But Labour backbenchers have piled pressure on the Labour leadership today with a bid to change its policy to supporting continued access of the EU single market after Brexit.

Such a move would mean Labour is committed to continued free movement – which it has said will have to end once Britain leaves the EU.