Miliband: Labour got it wrong on immigration
Labour must "change its approach" to immigration, Ed Miliband said today as he signalled a shift away from a focus on border controls and towards the impact of migration on people's lives.
In a speech in London, he also distanced himself from a phrase Gordon Brown employed when in power, saying that he was "not going to promise British jobs for British workers".
In a speech in London, he admitted Labour "got it wrong" when it allowed uncontrolled immigration from new EU states in 2004, and promised to limit immigration from new member states if in government.
"We were dazzled by globalisation and too sanguine about its price," Mr Miliband said. "By focusing exclusively on immigration's impact on growth, we lost sight of who was benefiting from that growth - and the people being squeezed in the middle who were losing out."
A host of Labour figures have been on the air to admit that the party had made mistakes on immigration. Keith Vaz said there had been errors "particularly on the border agency", while former Home Secretary Jack Straw said it was "a major policy error" not to have transitional controls on immigration from new EU member states.
And former minister John Denham admitted Labour’s failure to impose transitional arrangements on the new EU countries had led to far more immigrants far quicker than anticipated. But he insisted Labour the party was not talking about capping the total number of immigrants at this stage.
Conservative co-chair Baroness Warsi has pleaded with Cabinet colleagues to drop what she labelled a "racist" policy, when they discussed curbs on migrants bringing family members to live with them in Britain, the Independent reports.