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Grant Shapps helps to highlight Labour's "cover-up" on immigration

By Joseph Willits 
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Shapps According to reports this morning, more evidence is emerging over a Labour cover up on immigration.  Both the Daily Mail and the Daily Express refer to £165,000 of taxpayer-funded documents prepared by the Department for Communities and Local Government which were never published by the previous government.

The documents contain new revelations about migrants from Bulgaria and Romania, as well as some more general statistics on immigration. Some of the previously unknown findings are as follows:

  • 25 % of those arriving from Bulgaria and Romania had low education levels.
  • Many immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania had four or more children.
  • Three in every 100 migrants from Bulgaria and Romania had five children or more.
  • The likelihood of claiming unemployment benefits was higher amongst Bulgarians and Romanians than other immigrants.
  • Unemployment generally worse in the immigrant population as a whole.
  • The immigrant community is less likely to take part in forms of civic participation.
  • A population increase of 4 million from 2008 - 2018.
  • A third of people in London were born outside of the U.K.
  • By 2004-2007, net immigration was at 178,300.

The findings raise concern over education in particular - with education levels from Bulgarian and Romanian migrants being grossly overestimated. 

One can't be sure, but since Grant Shapps is quoted in both papers it looks as though he may, like Chris Grayling, be making effective use of what happened on Labour's watch in the Department he now works in.  Like Grayling, the Housing Minister can operate as an attack dog, and readers will be aware that he's been tipped for the Party Chairmanship in due course.

At any rate, Shapps is not letting Labour monopolise the media during their conference, describing the revelations as "another disturbing cover-up by a Labour Party that failed on immigration and then tried to bury the truth." Shapps also said that the Government is "bringing immigration under control to restore public confidence in the system left broken by Labour."

A report, revealing the documents and highlighted Labour's cover-up on immigration, is likely to be published over the next few days.  Shapps's aggression seems to have helped to put Miliband on the back foot, since he admitted yesterday that Labour made mistakes in their handling of immigation while in Government, saying:

"We got it wrong in a number of respects including underestimating the level of immigration from Poland, which had a big effect on people in Britain. What I think people were worried about, in relation to Polish immigration in particular, was that they were seeing their wages, their living standards driven down. Part of the job of government is if you are going to have an open economy within Europe you have got to give that protection to employees so that they don’t see workers coming in and undercutting them."

 Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper echoed some of Miliband's sentiment, saying:

"We did get things wrong on immigration. We should have had transitional controls on migration from Eastern Europe."

To read more on this issue, you can also read an article in the Sunday Telegraph.