Stephen Kinnock has been accused of "elitism" for the second time this week, after claiming the Home Office is using the issue of migration to “divide and dehumanise” people.
He told an event on the fringes of the Labour conference that the Home Office sees the migrant crisis as "an opportunity to set communities against each other", appearing to dismiss the concerns of voters on the issue.
The Shadow Immigration Minister claimed the Government is using migration to "fire up their base" and "deflect from 13 years of abject failure" across a range of policies, including housing, transport and the economy.
He added: "I think their strategy is backfiring in a very big way because the more they focus public attention on the issue, the more they expose the utter incompetence, neglect and arrogance that they have shown over the last 13 years."
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This comes just days after Kinnock faced controversy for accusing part of the British electorate of having "xenophobic" views on the topic.
Critics slammed the shadow minister for "elitist arrogance" after he claimed voters are "susceptible to gaslighting" over migration.
Despite telling GB News over the weekend that "of course it’s not xenophobic to be worried about small boat crossings", he once again today appeared to dismiss the concerns of voters on migration.
Hitting out at his latest remarks, MP Jonathan Gullis said: “Stephen Kinnock is on a roll at Labour Party conference.
“First he believes people are stupid for being angry over illegal immigration, now he seemingly implies it’s racist for anyone to want our borders secured.
“Stephen Kinnock and Sir Keir Starmer were some of the loudest Remoaners on Brexit, obsessed with ceding control of our laws and borders to their buddies in Brussels, and clearly their elitist views haven’t changed since being thumped in 2019. These serial losers won’t stop the boats.”
Speaking at an event called "How can Labour challenge anti-migrant hatred" earlier this week, Kinnock accused far-right activists of "exploiting the concerns of local communities" to stir up anti-migrant hate.
He added: "The Conservative Government and the right-wing media has played a role in escalating far-right anti-migrant activity".
Kinnock also accused the Conservative Party of "vilifying migrants", dismissing the party's rhetoric as "utterly pathetic".
He continued: "We need to give reassurance to the electorate that we are a party that when in government will have an immigration and asylum system based on compassion and control.
"Some voters are susceptible to gaslighting. We have to ensure that that gaslighting is not effective."
Hitting back, Tory MP Jonathan Gullis told GB News: "Stephen Kinnock displays the same elitist arrogance
"Like Brexit, he holds disdain for anyone who believes in strong borders, and explains why he and Labour are willing to cost up to the EU by joining a quota sharing scheme, and desperate to cancel the Rwanda policy, even if it works at deterring people, as Sir Keir Starmer said today."
MP for Bassetlaw Brendan Clarke-Smith agreed, accusing the Labour Party of "talking down" to people.
He told GB News: "If there is any gaslighting then it is coming from Labour, who seem to think the British public are mugs and now want to scrap our Rwanda scheme.
"Nobody is vilifying anybody and it’s wrong to conflate the legitimate concerns of the public about the pressure illegal migration is putting on local services with some sort of extremist ideology.
This comes just days after Kinnock faced controversy for accusing part of the British electorate of having "xenophobic" views on the topic
"We are acting on people’s priorities, not simply talking down to them.
But Stephen Kinnock told GB News: "This does not reflect my views. Of course it’s not xenophobic to be worried about small boat crossings or illegal immigration and that’s not what I intended to imply.
"People want an immigration system that’s controlled and managed, which is what Labour is proposing."
A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said: "Keir Starmer would take the short-term decision to open Britain's borders to unlimited and uncontrolled migration instead of ensuring that Britain has skills it needs."