Home Office: Tough reforms having an impact

Responding to criticism from Labour's Chris Bryant, Immigration Minister Mark Harper defended the government's immigration minister said the government's "tough reforms" are having an impact "in all the right places."

Our tough reforms are having an impact in all the right places. We have tightened the routes where abuse was rife and overall numbers are down as a result - net migration is at its lowest level for a decade.

And we are building an immigration system that works in the national interest and is supporting growth. Latest Labour market statistics show that there has been a rise in numbers in employment, which has benefitted British citizens first, but we are still attracting skilled migrants to come to the UK where they are needed by British businesses.

Read: Labour says government immigration policy adds up to "cheap and nasty gimmicks"

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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.