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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.

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Next: Immigration accusations 'deeply disappointing'

Next deny hiring Polish workers so they can avoid workers' regulations. Credit: PA

Next do not hire Polish workers to work around regulations and are "deeply disappointed" they have been accused of doing so by a leading Labour MP, a spokesman for the chain has said.

Next accused Mr Bryant of not bothering "to check his facts with the company" before releasing extracts of his major speech on immigration, to be given later today.

The spokesman added: "In fact, agency workers from Poland cost us exactly the same as local agency workers, and our existing employees.

"The only reason we seek the help of people from Poland is that we simply can't recruit enough local people to satisfy these spikes in demand for temporary work."

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