Labour does not take the Muslim vote for granted, says Jonathan Reynolds

Labour does not take the Muslim vote for granted, says Jonathan Reynolds
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 23/05/2024

- 09:33

Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary has said his party does not take the Muslim vote for granted, and reiterated his party’s support for the ICC’s arrest warrant for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jonathan Reynolds also said Labour would not add to the asylum backlog despite proposed changes to the illegal migration act, saying its policy would be to spend money allocated to the Rwanda scheme on case workers and integrating migrants into British society.

Speaking on GB News Jonathan Reynolds said:

“On illegal immigration, it's an incredibly serious issue, and the choice at the election, because it is a big choice election, is whether you want gimmicks, whether you want a huge amount of money wasted on things that will make no impact on it.

“The government has 100,000 people, nearly, in hotels, costing £8 million a day. If they take 300 of those people to Rwanda for half a billion pounds, that doesn't fix the problem.

“We'll take that resource, we'll put it into the proper border command that is necessary to have the real action against criminal gangs that are behind this and really enforcing it. If you're spending so much money on illegal immigration, on something which is not going to make any substantial difference, that is completely unjustifiable. So it's one of the choices people will have in this election.

“And to be frank, you'll see this across a whole range of areas. If people are happy with how things are at the minute, of course they will stick with Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party. But if they want something different, something better, if they want change, it's a vote for Labour that will do that. And Labour can say we can be the change the country needs, because we look at how we've changed since 2019.

“Look at how we've had the humility to respond to that record defeat to be competitive now.

Responding to Labour’s policy on changes to the Illegal Migration Act, Mr Reynolds said:

“What’s the alternative? Keeping [migrants] in hotels at the cost of £8 million pounds a day indefinitely? They're going to have to apply and if they haven't got a right to be in the UK, they've got to go. And if they have a right to be in the UK, if we're going to accept those people, we can integrate them into British society, and they can benefit from putting something back into the UK, rather than just be indefinitely in the halfway house we have at the minute. So it's about a serious policy, rather than a gimmick that will make no difference.

“It means that we would have a huge amount of money that we're not going to spend on Rwanda, because the costs of that have already gone to over half a billion pounds. And we can put it into the kinds of things that will make a difference. And crucially, we can say, if you're spending under the Conservative Party £8 million a day, you can take some of that money, employ caseworkers, process those claims, get people integrated if they should be here, if they've got a right to be here, and if they haven't, they've got to leave.

“The alternative of just having people at a huge cost to the UK without resolving the issue is just not a serious approach.”

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