Conservative MP accuses Tesco of being 'ruthless'

A Conservative MP has attacked both Labour and Tesco amid a row over immigration and cheap labour from Eastern Europe.

Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow in Essex where Tesco once employed 800 staff, branded the supermarket "ruthless" for shutting the depot so it could open new distribution centres in Dagenham and Reading. He told Daybreak:

I have my own grievance with Tesco. I believe their company have behaved ruthlessly in Harlow, but they have been able to do this because of what the Labour Party did when they were in government.

In some ways, in my view Tesco ... they used to say 'pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap'. In my view the way they have behaved in Harlow, it's pile the money high and sell the workers cheap.

– Robert Halfon

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Labour in foreign staff row

Labour's immigration spokesman has modified planned criticism of Tesco and Next over claims they preferred eastern European workers after a preview of his speech drew a furious response from the firms. Tesco said it "absolutely refutes" the claim.