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Revolts over Immigration Bill loom in House of Lords

11 March 2014

Awkward rows about who employs ‘cheap foreign labour’ aside, the immigration issue is going to blow up again in the next couple of weeks when the Immigration Bill reaches report stage in the House of Lords. There are two main problems with the legislation which could lead to some very awkward votes at this stage – and both are being highlighted in the current committee stage. The first relates to fines for private landlords who do not make adequate checks on tenants who then turn out to be illegal immigrants. It has been unpopular ever since it was announced, with landlords arguing that the government is trying to recruit them as border staff, but the criticisms gained greater currency when Mark Harper resigned as Immigration Minister after discovering that his own cleaner was working here illegally. Harper’s troubles suggest that if the Immigration Minister can’t tell whether his staff are illegal immigrants, then Joe Bloggs the landlord will find it even trickier.

Labour’s Baroness Smith has tabled amendments calling for pilots of these proposals, presumably to prove that they are unworkable and to force a government U-turn.

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The party seems pretty confident that the amendments, which were debated last night at committee stage but withdrawn so that they can be voted on (having been rewritten to reflect any changes to the bill) at the report stage, will pass, despite resistance from ministers. Indeed, many crossbenchers are attracted by what they see as a ‘reasonable’ proposal from Labour; reasonable being the way to persuade unpartisan crossbench peers to support something that causes the government grief. Last night, a number of them raised concerns about the government’s proposals and praised the Labour amendments, including Lord Best, Lord Hylton and Baroness Meacher.

So another defeat for the government on immigration looms – report stage is likely to be in early April. There could be a second revolt, too: on the proposals to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’. The Joint Committee on Human Rights expressed concern earlier this month about the possible uses of this power, and called for ministers to amend the bill so that any order to deprive someone of their citizenship must be compatible with the UK’s obligations under international law.

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  • Bonkim

    Surely landlords don’t want to let property to anyone without check on their bank, employment or other means of paying rent – checking their passport or asking for references is usual practice – not sure what the problem is.

  • Cooper1992

    So we have…

    Rt Hon David Cameron MP – Nanny from Nepal, nanny from Australia.
    Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP – Nanny from Belgium.
    Rt Hon Mark Harper MP – Cleaner from Colombia.
    Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP – Cleaner from Portugal.

    Any more takers?

    No wonder these posh rich t0ssers are constantly singing the praises of immigration and of immigrants. Destroying our country one brick at a time while their foreign slaves clean their houses and wash their children.

    Utter, utter vermin the lot of them.

    • Kitty MLB

      ‘ Foreign Slaves’- Have you any idea of how extremist that sounds
      You rightfully do not want to be linked with the BNP and yet you
      come out with atrabilious rubbish like that.
      I would like to point out that it was the benefit party of champagne socialist tossers who opened the gates of unlimited immigration ( even wider) as well as us not having a say due to the wretched EU. Also the Human Right Laws, instead of a British Bill of rights so we can remove those who threaten us those three issues are the problem.
      The HOL are stuffed full of Labour and Lib Dem Vermin who prevent progress
      and that is the issue and not loathsome ” Posh Tories”.

      • Cooper1992

        Are you serious?

        The reason I mentioned ‘foreign slaves’ is that they are being hired purely because they will do the work for very little $$$. Not true slavery of course, but still it is the rich taking advantage of their poorness. Secondly in the case of Harper’s (and no doubt countless other MP’s over the years) the worker was illegally here. In the case of Clegg and Alexander they hired foreigners when they could have easily hired Brits – of whom there are 2,340,000 currently unemployed.

        Unlike these posh Tory-Liberal t0ssers (which they are), I do not have a nanny or a cleaner. This might sound amazing to David Cameron, but I happen to clean my own house.

        The Conservatives and Liberals are the same – both supporting mass immigration so that they can take advantage of it. Labour are probably similar but because they are not in the Cabinet they didn’t have to release information about who they employ.

        Don’t let your dislike of Labour and the Liberals blind you to the fact that the Conservatives are equally in the wrong here.

        They truly are, all the same.

        • Hello

          I pay quite a high rate for my cleaner (almost three times the minimum wage) but she’s still from eastern Europe. You might like to pretend that these are “foreign slaves” stealing British jobs for “very little $$$”, but I assure you that if you kicked them all out the only difference would be that the country would be that little bit dirtier and you’d be howling outrage at someone else.

          We are talking here about cleaning a damn house, it’s perfectly within the capacity of British born workers to compete. The issue is that they choose not to. There is no special talent for cleaning in Poland.

          • berosos_bubos

            and that is because the benefit system allows them not to

            • rubyduck


              I think you mean discourages them from doing it.

    • Cooper1992

      Rt Hon Theresa May MP – Cleaner from Brazil.

      • Kitty MLB

        Well fine, you find an English person who does not find this type
        of work beneath them whilst they sit on the sofa and dream of
        some kind of X factor lifestyle.

        • Shazza

          Or football…

        • rubyduck

          Not true.

        • foxoles

          All the cleaners in our area are English. I do not use them, however, because I clean my own house.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I didn’t know that Cameron was from Nepal and Australia and I thought Clegg was half-Dutch of the double kind.

    • foxoles

      Dan Hodges, ex GMB union official – cleaner from Poland.

  • telemachus

    Just returned
    Devastated about Bob Crow
    He was one of the Genuine Socialists in the Movement
    I am sorry the 3 threads were closed

    • anyfool

      No one really cares about another dead self serving Champagne Socialist, although he was at least entertaining, unlike the rest of your sour faced lot.

      • Kitty MLB

        Its best not to crow about it.
        All the threads are closed because he’s some kind of ” working class
        hero” Someone here pointed out it’s the same at the Telegraph.
        What do they think we would do throw stones at effigies of birds.
        Conservatives know how to behave and we would have just said RIP
        at least he was a old fashioned socialist unlike politics
        obsessed Len Mc Cluskey who always wants ” special treatment”.

        • Shazza

          Threads were not closed when the great Lady Thatcher died. That was fine for the odious Left whose noses she had so deftly rubbed into the ignorant morass of their own making, could ‘crow’ and express their desire to dance on her grave. Shame on them.

      • James Strong

        But he wasn’t just self serving, was he?
        You may well have disliked him, even despised him, but he served his members’ interests well.
        You cannot justify an appraisal of him that confines itself to ‘self serving’.

        • alabenn

          When the trains are driverless you will see whose interests are served.
          He did drive forward their interests, so did Scargill he brought forward the closure of pits long before their time.

    • James Strong

      I am also sorry the threads were closed.
      I wouldn’t have commented on his death but I am disappointed that the Spectator thought so many commenters would not have observed the rules of courtesy and civility.

    • Ricky Strong

      Why were they closed? Surely there were no legal restrictions.

      • telemachus

        Why indeed
        One speculates that it was fear of bad taste
        Which I cannot believe of the educated Spectator elite

    • gerontius

      “He was one of the Genuine Socialists in the Movement”

      So he was everything that you’re not eh Telemachus

      • telemachus

        I am lapsed SDP trending to Old Labour
        As are most resonable folk in this post Lehman age

        • Colonel Mustard

          You are a retro-communist with a taste for leftofascism.

  • McClane

    Why do we even have a House of Lords?

    • Kitty MLB

      O lord, you sound just like Cleggie – and that is the answer to your question.

    • Hello

      To keep power out of the hands of the barbarians.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Why do we have Westminster. They are all rotten to the core…..

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