No one can make up their mind on immigration at the moment. While Sadiq Khan claimed that Labour is a “pro-migration” party on LBC yesterday morning, Yvette Cooper did everything she could to imply the opposite.
When pressed by Andrew Marr on whether the Labour Party supports immigration, the shadow home secretary dodged the question three times and could only bring herself to say: “Immigration is important to this country but it also needs to be controlled and managed so that the system is fair”.
After the publication of record net migration numbers, Cooper was criticising the Tory Party’s failure to deliver on its promise to bring the numbers down. In the Commons, Cooper’s tirade on the incompetence of Suella Braverman terminated with the question: “What is the point of her?”
There is clearly confusion within the Labour Party about its stance on immigration. But this is also true of the Conservatives.
As Fraser Nelson pointed out in The Telegraph, they seem to be saying one thing and doing another. Rishi Sunak nonchalantly admitted on This Morning: “The numbers are too high”. But the Prime Minister’s growth plan relies on granting more visas than ever to fill gaps in the cheap labour market.
All the while, a recent poll has shown Sunak is still more trusted by voters to lead the country – but not by much. The polling from Kantar shows Sunak is more trusted on most issues, including improving the economy and leading Britain militarily. Whereas, the public thinks Keir Starmer would be preferable on only three of 13 issues; although one of these is the disproportionately important NHS. Even if most people see through Sunak’s soundbites about bringing the numbers down, they still don’t trust Keir Starmer to do the job.
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