DIFFERENCES over immigration have opened up at the top of the Labour Party, as leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared at odds with shadow home secretary Andy Burnham over whether it benefited society.
In a speech to Labour’s annual conference in Brighton, the Leigh MP said it was “not true” to say that free movement of workers across Europe benefits everyone in the UK. Current EU rules were “widening inequality” and hitting job security in the poorest communities, he said.
But in an interview for the BBC, Mr Corbyn insisted he did not believe that immigration had been “anything but a plus” for Britain.
“To win back the voters we lost to Ukip, I want to reframe the debate about immigration and the way Labour approaches it,” said Mr Burnham (pictured below).
“For too long, we have argued that free movement across Europe benefits everyone and affects all areas equally. That’s just not true.
“In places, a free market in labour benefits private companies more than people and communities. Labour hasn’t faced up to that and that’s why we look out of touch.”
Ukip MEP Paul Nuttall responded, saying: “Mr Burnham’s words show the desperation of a man who has ignored the plight of the working classes due to mass immigration for years.
“If he really wants to help people then he’d be better off campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.”