Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

SECTIONS
2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Disability
Education
Employment
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
News Digest
Northern Ireland
People
Politics
Religion
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Society & Environment
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

Tories defend immigration policies after backlash

by Lester Holloway
18/4/2005

CONSERVATIVES HAVE ANGRILY back at accusations that they are peddling racist immigration and asylum policies.

James Cleverly and Michael Howard
James Cleverly, Tory candidate for Lewisham East, with Michael Howard

Tory candidate for Lewisham East James Cleverly has jumped to the defence of his leader Michael Howard following a weekend of intense criticism from other parties.

Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes led the attack on Howard claiming the Tories were “pandering to racism”.

The Conservative leader recieved a further setback when the Police Federation warned politicians not to make political capital out of the death of a policeman killed by an asylum seeker.

despicable

Howard claimed Algerian Kamel Bourgass would not have had an opportunity to murder PC Stephen Oake if he had been deported after his asylum claim was rejected.

Simon Hughes
Simon Hughes: hardhitting criticism

Tory vice-chair Dr Liam Fox went further, claiming the government were “culpable” for PC Oake's death.

But Sergeant Paul Kelly, chair of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, said PC Oake's widow, Lesley, did not want her husband's death “turned into a political football”.

Lib Dem President Simon Hughes said: “I think the Tories are pandering to racism. I'm quite unequivocal about it. I think it's despicable, and I think coming from a Michael Howard party. With his family history, it's even more despicable.

persecution

“They say, the Tories, that you can have an arbitrary limit on who comes and can apply for asylum and be granted.

 - quote - Tories are pandering to racism – it's despicable.  - unquote -
Simon Hughes MP

“That means that the first person, 50 years ago, fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany who got here would have been allowed in, but the second person might not.

'I resent and reject that policy. If we're going to be a decent country, those people should be allowed to knock on our door, and we should be allowed to take them in. That's not what the Tories currently are arguing for.”

But former army major James Cleverly, one of 39 Black and ethnic minority candidates fielded by the Conservatives, defended his party's policies.

disable

Cleverly told Blink that Simon Hughes was guilty of playing on the public's fears and prejudices. “He is making veiled attacks accusing us of racism without having the guts to back up his comments.

Your Shout!

Have Your Say

“Rather than constructively criticise our proposals other parties are simply saying we are pandering to racists. It is the chaos of the asylum system that is feeding racism.

“Under our policies people will know that those arriving are playing fair and genuinely deserve to be here. Our policies of border police and of knowing who is coming here will in fact disable racism.”

delicacy

Cleverly said the Lib Dems asylum and immigration proposals amounted to an “open door… which would play into the hands of racists.”

Michael Howard
Michael Howard puts his best foot forward

Labour's culture secretary Tessa Jowell also criticised Tory asylum plans claiming the issue had been “stirred up to appeal to people's fears.”

She added: “That's why I think you have to handle immigration in the context of an election campaign with great delicacy.”

Opinion polls over the weekend showed the Conservatives winning on asylum and immigration.

A Labour candidate in a safe seat told Blink last week Labour were concerned about how the issue was playing on the doorsteps.

But the bad news for Howard was that support for his stance on asylum was not yet translating into voting intentions. A poll for the Sunday Telegraph showed Labour had a ten point lead over the Conservatives, their highest for two years.

That would translate into a 152 to 158-seat landslide Labour majority, only marginally lower than the last Parliament. The poll revealed support for Labour on all the other key issues, including health and the economy.

David Cameron, the Conservative Party head of policy co-ordination, has defended his party's approach to asylum and immigration from accusations of stirring up racist attitudes.

He said: 'I think that it's very important to talk about this issue and to address it sensibly and soberly and come up with proposals to make sure that we have the right immigration policy.

'I think that immigration is a good thing. I think this country benefits economically, socially and culturally from immigration.

“But I think it's important that we have a system that is both controlled and fair, and I think at the moment we have a system that is not particularly well-controlled, and is not particularly fair.”

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document
Search

Politics
LibDems
Local Government
Labour
Conservatives
Greens
Articles
Racism
David Cameron

Related Stories

Give Tory associations race training David Cameron still has much to prove on race Tory asylum row – are they racist? You decide. Tories defend immigration policies after backlash Give us clarification not chaos! Calm down dears… its only an election Shame on you, Mr Howard A Tribute to Malcolm X thru' Hip-Hop, Rap and Spoken-word Poetry William Hague slapped down over slavery gaff Sweet-talk fails to save Michael Howard from pasting Black is the new Blue for Tories Michael Howard says he’s an ethnic minority Tory gains on race could be reversed by Davis David Davis supported ” racist colleague ” now he must prove he’s changed Millions for Reparations Rally in Washington

Resources:

Speech by Valerie Amos, Leader of the House of Lords

Tony Blair speech to Labour conference 2006

Black Representation in Government

pdf At a turning point? The State of Race relations in Kingston upon Hull

JCWI'S Top 10 Recommendations

List of MPs who voted for and against the war in Iraq

Transcript of BNP Mayoral candidate interviewed on BBC London Radio's John Gaunt show

pdf BNP candidates and constituencies 2004

Links:

Pluto Press

Pluto Press

The Power Inquiry

Unite Against Fascism

Searchlight

TheyWorkForYou.com

Stop the BNP

BNP: Under the skin

Research community network: Stopping hate and building safer communities

antiracist.com

Operation Black Vote

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read


Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269
Email: blink1990@blink.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux