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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Labour breaking promises already

The election has barely begun and already Labour are backtracking on some of their pledges and promise. The Independent reports that the party is for a major row over its immigration policy amid reports that Jeremy Corbyn will back away from a commitment to extend free movement to non-EU countries and give foreign nationals the right to vote in all UK elections.

The paper says both policies are expected to be significantly watered down or ditched entirely when senior figures meet on Saturday to thrash out Labour’s election manifesto. Such a move would lead to a backlash from grassroots activists, who successfully campaigned for Labour to adopt the policies at the party’s annual conference in September.

Senior figures fear that the pledges will be unpopular in Labour heartlands, where the party is facing a battle to avoid losing seats to the Tories. Apparently they accept that the party’s Brexit policy of seeking access to the EU’s single market will inevitably mean a continuation of free movement but may no longer support going further:

Ahead of the key meeting, Labour activists warned Mr Corbyn that failure to give immigrants the right to vote would fuel “xenophobia, scaremongering and hate crime”.

Representatives of foreign nationals in the UK said backing away from the conference policy would amount to “pandering to the negative portrayal of immigrants” and would be “incredibly upsetting and disappointing”.

The Liberal Democrats also called on Mr Corbyn to make a “cast-iron commitment” to maintaining free movement, claiming that failure to do so would be “a betrayal of future generations”.

How many more u-turns will Labour perform before the election is over?
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