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Welsh MP slams Tory migrants policy as ‘performative cruelty’

08 Oct 2023 2 minute read
Stephen Kinnock. Photo Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Labour must persuade voters they can offer control of the UK’s borders in a compassionate way, shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock said as he tore into Rishi Sunak for “weaponising” the plight of asylum seekers.

MP for Aberavon, Mr Kinnock said the rhetoric from the Prime Minister and Home Secretary Suella Braverman had been “divisive, dehumanising, alienating and polarising” and was “the definition of a failure of political leadership”.

Speaking at a Labour conference fringe event in Liverpool, he accused the Tories of having a policy of “performative cruelty”.

Mr Kinnock said: “We know that the British people are compassionate, but we also know that the British people want to see control.

“And when you lose control, you lose compassion. And I genuinely believe that that is the narrative that the Labour Party should be putting forward because it shows that we would want to engage in the issues that are creating a kind of chaos, shambles and anarchy in our system.

“And once we can demonstrate that we’re engaging and listening, then I think we really do win permission to be heard, even amongst parts of the electorate that might be sceptical of Labour’s position.”

Weaponise

Mr Kinnock said the Government was looking to “weaponise immigration and asylum”.

“They’re looking to find wedge issues because they seem to have come to the view that that’s a political advantage for them in terms of their attacks on the Labour Party,” he said.

“I think that their strategy is backfiring on them in a big way, because the more that they talk about this and raise the salience of the issue, the more they also expose their complete and utter failure to have an asylum system that is actually functioning.

“That is just, I think, pointing a spotlight directly at their own incompetence and their own addiction to gimmicks and gesture politics and performative cruelty, rather than actually getting the sleeves rolled up and doing the job of government.”


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Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
6 months ago

Yes but what PLAN is he suggesting?

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago
Reply to  Iago Traferth

To not be cruel? That’s the alternative to performative cruelty one would imagine. Cruelty is a choice not a necessity

Richard Burton
Richard Burton
6 months ago

He’s doing exactly the same by beating the sanctuary nation drum. Will Labour do anything? No, they wouldn’t want to be tarnish their left wing persona. Labour will sit on their pen-ôlau and try to divert public interest to in another issue.

TomTom82
TomTom82
6 months ago

Firstly, these people are not asylum seekers, refugees or even economic migrants. These people are illegal aliens. The clue is in the word. Illegal. If these people were genuine they would come here through the legal channels (of which there are many)
To think labour could do a better job in controlling the flow is laughable. They’d probably dial it up to 11.

Erisian
Erisian
6 months ago
Reply to  TomTom82

As there are so
many legal ways, perhaps you would explain some of those available to “these people”…?

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

This is what happens when the Home Sec supported by the party spout vile and racist terms to demonise people for a vote.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago
Reply to  TomTom82

How do you know who “these people” are? Just because you label them “illegal aliens” apropos of nothing, does not mean they are. The “legal channels” are pretty impossible to navigate if you are a refugee, as opposed to a migrant (which is a different thing entirely). I don’t know how well Labour could manage migration, but the Tories have messed it up now for over 13 years. Do we think if we give them another 5 years they might finally get it right? But hey, you keep voting for the same people to do the same things over and… Read more »

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