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  1. National

Tesco: 'Vast majority' of Dagenham staff live locally

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.

We’re pleased that Mr Bryant has recognised that Tesco is a good employer and an important source of jobs in Britain.

We worked incredibly hard to recruit people from the local area in Dagenham and as a result of that work, the vast majority are British and live locally.

We have one of the best pay and benefits packages in the industry, and we pay the same rate whether our colleagues are British or from the EU.

  1. National

Labour: Local workers 'priced out' of market

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."


  1. National

Bryant criticises 'unscrupulous employers'

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:

Unscrupulous employers should not be allowed to recruit workers in large numbers in low-wage countries in the EU, bring them to the UK, charge the costs of their travel and their sub-standard accommodation against their wages and still not even meet the national minimum wage.

That is unfair. It exploits migrant workers and it makes it impossible for settled workers with mortgages and a family to support at British prices to compete.

  1. National

Next recruitment agency website 'entirely in Polish'

Labour's shadow immigration minister said it was important to ask questions about the impact of foreign workers on the UK labour market, and address the concerns of UK residents and citizens.

He said there were questions of fairness to be asked about the hiring practises of British firms that specifically target foreign workers, and singled out Next and their association with an agency that targets Polish staff though its Polish language (only) website.

  1. National

Bryant: Migrants should be expected to learn English

Chris Bryant MP said having a good standard of English should be a pre-requisite for studying or living in the UK, and that local authorities should spend money on teaching English rather than translating documents.

I heartily agree that a good standard of English should be a pre-requisite for studying or living here. Of course that is not always easy - look at how poorly English living overseas integrate there - but we can and should expect migrants here to learn English, which is why it would make more sense for local authorities to spend money on English courses, teaching English, rather than translation services.

  1. National

Immigration policy 'cheap and nasty gimmicks'

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."

While poorly worded and tasteless ad vans were touring London begging illegal immigrants to hand themselves in we learned that the Home Office had not been fingerprinting migrants stopped at Calais for three years, and has not followed up 90% of its on intelligence on illegal immigration.

In short, the government's immigration policy adds up to cheap and nasty gimmicks, rather than serious proposals or practical measures to tackle illegal entry.


  1. National

Bryant: Labour made mistakes on immigration

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.

Shadow Immigration minister Chris Bryant. Credit: ITV News

"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."

  1. National

Economy needs 'refocused away from imported labour'

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant said it was time to "refocus" the economy away from imported labour.

Shadow Immigration minister Chris Bryant, speaking on Daybreak. Credit: ITV News

Speaking on Daybreak ahead of his speech this morning, when he is expected to criticise "unscrupulous employers" who cut their costs by using workers from eastern Europe he said:

"We have one million young people under the age of 24 in this country out of work, we have higher long-term unemployment than we have had for many years, couldn't we run the economy in a better way so that big companies don't have to rely on bringing in workers?"

"This is a big issue for companies that pay people within spitting distance of the minimum wage.

"If you have eight men coming from an eastern European country, a low wage economy, to the UK living in a house together, often in sub-standard accommodation, and only working for six weeks and then going home, then of course they under cut British people who would be able to take on those jobs."

  1. National

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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