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Number 10 tries to defend Brokenshire speech

10 March 2014

What fortunate timing it is that Home Office questions falls this afternoon, during the aftermath of one of the worst debut speeches a minister has managed in this Parliament. Doubtless Labour will have a great deal of fun with James Brokenshire’s ‘metropolitan elite’ speech which appears to have been rather disowned by figures in Number 10 over the weekend.

Today at the Number 10 lobby briefing, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said:

‘The speech was setting out the government’s approach to immigration policy, it’s a policy the Prime Minister very much supports. We want to attract the brightest and the best, people who want to work hard and get on, that needs to be done within a policy of controlled migration.’

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He then added that he didn’t think the word ‘blame’ appeared in the speech, though it has been read as an attempt by ministers to blame voters – possibly including members of Labour’s hardworking families up and down the country – for the levels of immigration that this country has seen in recent years.

It will be interesting to see what Theresa May has to say about it all when it’s her turn at the despatch box later today. It’s worth noting, though, that while the speech has sparked an amusing hunt for ministers who employ cheap foreign labour and are a bit embarrassed to admit it, it has gone down pretty well with Tory MPs worried about the impact of immigration on their constituencies.

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Show comments
  • Smithersjones2013

    during the aftermath of one of the worst debut speeches a minister has managed in this Parliament.

    Says who? Politician reflects the views of many and dim-witted out of touch liberal journo inside the Westminster Freakshow describes it as above. Go figure

  • James Strong

    ‘one of the worst debut speeches a minister has managed in this Parliament’

    You offer nothing in support of this assertion. The closest bit of evidence you offer in argument is that has ‘gone down pretty well’ with some Tory MPs, and that runs contrary to your assertion.
    I think what has happened is ‘Politician Speaks Truth’, and some are embarrassed by it.
    Now, Ms. Hardman, please explain why you have adopted this anti-Brokenshire position.

  • Frank

    Since nobody is going to do anything concrete about Britain’s’ immigration issues, can we focus on (a) when is Maria Miller going to be sacked, (b) when is Nigel Evans going to stand down, (c) when is Mike Hancock going to stand down, and (d) what is the status of Lord Rennard?
    It is of course possible that I may have missed some of the “characters” we have in Westminster. Commentators should please feel free to add any missing names.

    • WatTylersGhost

      Oscar Pistorious fills the BBC “news” bulletins, while the much more important trial of Nigel Evans begins today without a mention.

      • HookesLaw

        Who did Evans kill?

        • WatTylersGhost

          It’s not about the severity of the crime (though rape is serious in my book) but the relevance of the information to the listener. Compare the significance of the Deputy Speakers case to that of a South African runner to a British voter and you get the answer.

      • 2trueblue

        There are no real news stations today. We have the BBC, and Sky who provide entertainment 24hrs a day and there is no depth to anything that they chose to ‘enlighten’ us about. We should move towards a system where we do not have to pay for our TV lisence because the BBC especially is just a talking shop which has no remit to deliver real solid news or programs that the majority would like.

      • post_x_it

        Possibly to do with the fact that the Pistorius trial allows cameras into the courtroom, so there is more juice in it for a channel that has to fill lots of air time cheaply. The same thing happened with Sky News and the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor – any other world news barely got a look in.

  • Hello

    It’s also gone down pretty well with the pro-immigration metropolitan elite, including the media and business, who now know that Tory government ministers share their angst around the state of the immigration debate.

  • anyfool

    Politician tells truth, parliament in shock, reporters running around like headless chickens.

    • sarahsmith232

      LoL, spot on.

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