Welsh MP slams Tory migrants policy as ‘performative cruelty’
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.”
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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