Labour Party Conference: Yvette Cooper calls for ‘stronger action’ on illegal immigration
SHADOW Home Secretary Yvette Cooper called for “much stronger action” from the UK Government on illegal immigration in a speech to Labour’s conference today.
Ms Cooper also called for tougher enforcement on cross border crime and for it to be made easier to extradite criminals who flee the UK.
She pledged that a Labour government would take action to halt economic crime such as the Libor interest rates scandal saying that bankers were “fiddling the figures to get rich, while small businesses paid the price.
Ms Cooper said: “Now that global travel and trade is greater than ever before, Britain does need stronger controls and limits to make the system fair.
“But for public confidence those rules need to be enforced. The Government is doing the opposite. We need much stronger action on illegal immigration and on things like the minimum wage. It isn’t fair on anyone if people are getting round the rules.”
And Ms Cooper condemned the Prime Minister for failing to fire Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell for allegedly calling Downing Street police officers plebs.
Echoing Labour leader Ed Miliband yesterday, she said: “Weak on crime, weak on the causes of crime - that is David Cameron’s Conservative Party.
“Cutting the police, undermining communities, swearing at officers, turning their backs on victims.
“It is Labour Party that is now the party for policing. Labour the party for law and order. Labour the One Nation Party.”
And she said new action was needed to tackle domestic violence - highlighting statistics which show two women are killed every week by a partner.
The shadow home secretary said: “I feel very strongly that more action is needed fast. We need proper minimum standards, backed by a new Domestic and Sexual Violence Board starting with rapid action to protect vulnerable children and young people.”
Ms Cooper opened her remarks with tributes to Police Constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, and to the 5,000 officers from around the country who volunteered to cover shifts in Manchester so colleagues could attend their funerals today and tomorrow.
She told delegates the “police really are the public, the public are the police”, and pledged Labour would continue to work with the police and not undermine them.
But taking aim squarely at Mr Cameron, Ms Cooper said: “Let me tell you what Tory Mayor of London Boris Johnson said in this very Conference Hall just 12 months ago. He said ‘If people swear at the police, they must expect to be arrested’. Except - it seems - in Downing Street.
“It really comes to something when the Prime Minister and the Government Chief Whip end up being reprimanded for their lack of respect by a fellow member of the Bullingdon Club.
“We expect teenagers to show respect for the police. We expect drivers in traffic to show respect for the police.
“It’s just not what David Cameron expects from his cabinet. Because this is about David Cameron, not just Andrew Mitchell. He chose to back him not sack him.
“It tells you a lot about this government’s attitude to the police and to the public.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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