Theresa May has leapt to the defence of James Brokenshire, her under-fire immigration minister, following his criticism of a “wealthy metropolitan elite” who use immigrants to provide “cheap labour”.
The Home Secretary defended Mr Brokenshire after he was accused in the House of Commons of relying on stereotypes and cliches and coming “dangerously close” to endorsing the “discredited slogan of ‘British jobs for British workers’”.
Mr Brokenshire said last week that the wealthy were the main winners of Britain’s openness to overseas labour as they had to pay less for tradesmen and services. Ordinary workers, whose wages had stagnated, had lost out.
The comments led to questions being raised about Cabinet members’ use of foreign domestic help, including Prime Minister David Cameron in his Downing Street flat, much to the frustration of his advisers.
Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, asked Mrs May in the House of Commons on Monday if she would return Mr Brokenshire to his “normal sensible demeanour” to ensure a “constructive debate on immigration”.
He said: “Last Thursday, [Mr Brokenshire] scolded the metropolitan elite, which of course included members of the Cabinet for employing people who were born outside this country.
“There are 4.4 million people who are born outside this country who are contributing to our economy.
“What (Mr Brokenshire) said came dangerously close to endorsing the discredited slogan of ‘British jobs for British workers’.”
Mrs May replied: “A constructive debate on immigration was exactly what [Mr Brokenshire] was contributing to.
“And I do not accept the description of the speech that [Mr Brokenshire] has given. As I have just said… what he was pointing out is that uncontrolled immigration has the greatest impact on those at the lower end of the income scale.
“I would have thought as a Labour MP, you should care about that.”
Earlier Mrs May also told Laurence Robertson, a Tory backbencher: “Uncontrolled gross immigration of course does put pressure on our public services and infrastructure.
“And as [Mr Brokenshire] has pointed out, the people who most suffer from the impact of uncontrolled immigration are those at the lower end of the income scale.”
* * *
Time to change the name of the Labour Party to the Immigrant Vote-Importing Party. It is unrecognizable by past standards.
Here is a chart of youth unemployment rates in Europe as of January 2014: clearly more immigration is needed says the “Labour” Party member.