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As the daughter of a first generation immigrant, I am very keen to make clear my views on immigration and to put the Labour case on immigration. My dad came here on a single boat ticket from India when he was 18 in 1956 – his parents sold everything they could to pay for this, so he could be trained and work hard to help his family. He married my mum, an English woman, and settled here, like so many others. He and his family, me and my two sisters, have always worked hard and contributed to this country in so many ways – as a classical pianist and teacher, my dad contributed his unique musical skills and helped to inspire hundreds of musicians and teachers who have gone on to inspire many others and contribute to our cultural life. I see myself as part of that tradition.

 

We are a nation of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants – and we’ve helped build this country and make it what it is. We contribute our skills and we pay taxes. We also know that there are rules about immigration for good reasons – from security to economic. I want us always to make sure we are proud of our tradition of welcoming asylum seekers and refugees, others who want to contribute to our country, students who want to learn in our universities and partnes/families of British citizens. This also means making sure we don’t let in people who may want to cause harm – it wouldn’t help us to protect refugees and asylum seekers if we also let in the people from who they are seeking asylum, for instance.

As members of the EU, we are also benefitting from the free movement of people and labour – this helps us to be able to go on holiday in Europe but also to go and work in different EU countries, which many of us will do in our lifetimes. It also helps our young people to have the choice of going to a university in the EU.

In a recent speech about immigration, Miliband has said that his parents were immigrants and he is grateful and proud that Britain gave them refuge and enabled them to build their home here. 

 

He pointed out that problems have occurred in workplaces around Britain but he didn’t blame this on workers from abroad.  I know you will share his outrage that some immigrant workers have had their wages stolen and have been made to live in appalling conditions. I do and I agree that it must be stopped so I am pleased that the next Labour Government will make it a criminal offence to exploit migrant workers by undercutting their pay or conditions and we will increase fines for firms who avoid paying the minimum wage. We will also stop recruitment agencies from hiring only from abroad and stop agency contracts being used to undercut wages. 

One consequence of employers being allowed to get away with exploiting workers from overseas has been that it pulls down the living standards of British workers – often those who were already lower earners and who need Labour to protect them.  Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the people who have suffered loss of income or difficulties finding work or somewhere to live in this recession have blamed immigrants for their problems, and some political parties have been quick to try to benefit from this.  That is why I want the Labour Party to be very clear to show that immigrant workers are not to blame and nor are refugees and asylum seekers. 

 I would like us to put more emphasis on showing how little migrant workers take from the state compared with what they put in.  Also I’d like us to make it clearer that, if there are problems we will tackle them positively. For example, that we will not simply insist that people speak English in jobs where they are in contact with the public but that we will help them to achieve this. 

 If elected, I will be helping to make Westminster a truer reflection of who we are as a country. I will be better able to campaign for greater understanding of immigration and of the contribution immigrants make, as an MP, within parliament, including in my own party and in public.

 

I’d also like to remind us all that it’s always been the Labour party who has passed the laws on tackling discrimination and promoting equality which help to make this country a safe as well as vibrant and diverse place to live. Many of us from the global ethnic majority are very well aware that it’s always been Labour who has made us welcome and helped us to make our homes and way of life here.

I’m a daughter of an immigrant and I’m proud to be a Labour candidate for parliament. 

I'm the daughter of an immigrant and I'm proud to be a Labour parliamentary candidate

As the daughter of a first generation immigrant, I am very keen to make clear my views on immigration and to put the Labour case on immigration. My dad came...

Quick update before Flying Start weekend kicks off in full at 10.30 - for anyone joining us for the first time this weekend and for those of us for whom campaigning every Saturday 10.30 is now an automatic reflex - you're on the WINNING TEAM!

As well as being part of a team who are talking to hundreds of people in Bristol West every day, others are predicting us to win:

Have a look at Bristol West on electoral calculus

And here on election forecast, predicting that we have a 68% probability of winning. 

So come and join in the winning team - we have the policies, the values, the team work, the spirits and the local knowledge, we've been working hard in this seat for years, we have excellent councillors in the areas which are most in need of a Labour government and we have support across the whole constituency.

Predicted Labour win in Bristol West! Join the winning team

Quick update before Flying Start weekend kicks off in full at 10.30 - for anyone joining us for the first time this weekend and for those of us for whom...

Today Labour announces a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT.

VAT is the tax that hits everyone – with the same rate paid by the pensioner as the millionaire. It is the tax that every Tory government in the last forty years has raised. But no Labour government has ever hiked up the main rate of VAT.

 So we will not put up VAT. And we will not extend it to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares.

We will make our tax commitments in full in our manifesto. But we are clear that while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, working people are paying more in tax after the last five years of the Tories.

The Tories can't be trusted when it comes to VAT. Time and time again they have made pre-election promises not to increase VAT or extend its scope, only to break them as soon as they are back in power. They've done it before. They'll do it again.

 

  • David Cameron told the British people a few days before the 2010 election that he had "no plans" to raise VAT. The Liberal Democrats promised not to increase VAT, and warned against a Tory "VAT bombshell".
  • The Tories and Lib Dems then raised VAT within weeks of the last general election.
  • The Tory VAT rise hit the living standards of millions of people. It led to higher prices – helping inflation hit 5.2 per cent when it was raised. And over the last four years it has cost families an average of £1,800, according to the Treasury’s own figures.

 

Today: The Tories are taking the British public for granted

It is typically arrogant of David Cameron to presume a third Tory term in 2020 before the British public have been given the chance to have their say in this election. In the UK it is for the British people and not the Prime Minister to decide who stays in power.

Instead of focusing on themselves, it is time we had a Government focussed on the needs of working families. Another term of this Government would mean working people worse off and the NHS under threat because of their extreme spending plans.

 We need a better plan for a better future. We need a Labour government.  

 

 

Labour will not put up VAT

Today Labour announces a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT. VAT is the tax that hits everyone – with the same rate...

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