Labour ‘wanted social change’, according to a new document. Labour encouraged mass immigration even though it knew that voters opposed it, Whitehall documents confirmed yesterday.
The Government said the public disagreed with immigration because of ‘racism’ and ministers were told to try to alter public attitudes. The thinking on immigration among Labour leaders was set down in 2000 in a document prepared for the Cabinet Office and the Home Office, but the key passages were suppressed before it was published.
The paper was finally disclosed under freedom of information rules yesterday. It showed that ministers were advised that only the ill-educated and those who had never met a migrant were opposed to immigration. They were also told that large-scale immigration would bring increases in crime, but they concealed these concerns from the public.
Sections of the paper, which underpinned Labour policies that admitted between two and three million immigrants to Britain in less than a decade, have already been made public. These have showed that Labour aimed to use immigration not only for economic reasons but also to change the social make-up of the country.
Fuller details released yesterday showed that Tony Blair’s ministers opened the doors to mass migration in knowledge of public opposition and with the view that those who disagreed with them were racists.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling has criticised the Government for not telling the truth about their immigration policies. Labour’s accusation that opponents of immigration are racist has been dropped over the last two years as it has become clear that former Labour voters in party heartlands have been turning to the far right British National Party.
Ministers accept there is frustration at the loss of jobs to migrants and pressure on public services. Yesterday Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘The Government has simply not been telling the truth about its policies on immigration.
New controls on immigration are to be relaxed to allow companies to bring in the workers they want. Trade Minister Mervyn Davies said yesterday that Labour’s points-based system, aimed at allowing only the highest skilled workers into Britain, had had ‘teething problems’.
He promised a ‘slightly differently tailored system’ for employees brought into the country by multinational companies. The points-based system, introduced last year, was designed to ease concern over the impact of mass immigration of low-skilled and low-paid workers, particularly in traditional Labour-voting areas.
Success for the scheme is central to Labour’s pledge that the population will not be allowed to reach 70million.
‘More and more evidence is now emerging to show that they deliberately planned a big jump in immigration for their own political purposes. ‘Now they are trying to rewrite history to pretend those decisions never happened. Their conduct over all of this has been a complete disgrace.’
Sir Andrew Green of the Migrationwatch pressure group said: ‘This report confirms that ministers deliberately rode roughshod over public opinion in adopting a policy of mass immigration. ‘They concealed their real intentions in the hope that they would benefit from the immigrant vote without losing their working class supporters. They are now paying the price.’ But Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: ‘This report confirms there was no open door policy on migration.
‘It makes quite clear that migration is not a substitute for Government policies on skills, education and training of British citizens, which the Government has invested in over the past decade.’ David Cameron promised yesterday to limit immigration to tens of thousands a year, a level last seen in the 1990s.
National Front 2010