- 19 updates
Labour's shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant said people from all over Britain, including immigrants themselves, expect to have their legitimate concerns about immigration taken seriously.
"I realise that for some time people thought that Labour believed that anyone who expressed a concern about immigration was racist, so let me be clear.
Yes, racists have sometimes polluted this debate, and we should always be alive to the dangers of prejudice and always be alive to racism at every turn.
"But Labour have concerns about immigration, about the pace of migration, about the undercutting of workers terms and conditions, about the effect on the UK labour market.
"True, Labour made mistakes on immigration, when we came to power in 1997, we had to tackle complete chaos in the asylum system.[...] And we created the post of immigration minister. But though we were right to introduce a points based system in 2008, we should have done so earlier."
In a blog, Tesco has said it "absolutely refutes" accusations that they hired foreign workers to save money on pay, saying:
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."
Labour MP Chris Bryant denied he was ever going to label Next and Tesco as "unscrupulous" employers, but said he had serious concerns of how the labour market was working. Speaking to ITV News he said:
Employers feel the need, including Tesco and Next, to take on significant numbers of workers from overseas. I think the way the labour market works in Britain effectively prices local workers out of the market and leads to exploitation of foreign workers."
Tesco has released its recruitment policy for its new Essex distribution centre after relocating it from Harlow to Dagenham.
The supermarket chain reacted after reports that the shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant had planned to claim it employed foreign workers because they were cheaper than local ones.
His modified speech, delivered this morning, had removed the claim.
The charter promises to "do everything possible to secure as many positions possible for Colleagues at Harlow DC [distribution centre] to transfer to the Dagenham DC" and to "engage with the local people."
You can see the full charter here.
Tesco have welcomed Chris Bryant's praise during his speech on immigration and the labour market, and stressed the "vast majority" of the people they recruited for their Dagenham store are British and live locally.
Labour MP Chris Bryant said the Home Office advertisements to encourage illegal immigrants to leave the country were "poorly worded and tasteless, " and branded the government's immigration policy in general as adding up to "cheap and nasty gimmicks."
Labour's immigration minister Chris Bryant toned down his speech on the impact of foreign labour on the UK labour market, omitting some of the extracts reportedly leaked to the Sunday Telegraph.
Mr Bryant dropped key passages from the speech, and made it clear that he did not label either of the companies "unscrupulous"
He did however criticise Next for using a recruitment agency that has an entirely Polish website, and he said both companies need to look at why they take on significant numbers of workers from overseas. Libby Weiner reports.
Delivering his speech to the IPPR centre-left think-tank in London, Mr Bryant said unscrupulous employers were taking advantage of EU working rules to recruit foreign workers and pay them less than minimum wage:
Latest ITV News reports
Chris Bryant has been caught up in a row with two of Britain's biggest high street names.