UK: Vaz campaigns against UK immigration Minister's new policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Nov 3 15:19:46 UTC 2008

Vaz campaigns against UK immigration Minister's new policy

London (PTI) Leading NRI labour MP Keith Vaz has joined issue with
British immigration Minister Phil Woolas saying it was "totally
untrue" that Labour would seek to restrict foreign workers as
suggested by the minister. Woolas's call for a tough new approach last
month sparked a furore in the Labour Party and led to the Home
Secretary Jacqui Smith, banning him from appearing on Question Time.
Friends of the minister have since insisted that he was speaking with
the Prime Minister's backing.

Woolas had said that the government should be ready to go further in
limiting migration and favoured introduction of an Australian-style
points system which will ensure that high-skilled migrants are
welcomed while non-European Union nationals with no useful job skills
are barred.  Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee,
voiced unhappiness at Woolas's comments during a visit to India where
he told businessmen that there would be no cap on the number of people
allowed to migrate to Britain.

The Leicester East MP is leading an inquiry by the select committee
into how the new system has been working since being introduced in
April. It assesses applicants on criteria such as age, earnings,
education and language ability. India was the first nation where it
was introduced. Vaz pledged that the system would help the UK curry
industry by allowing it to recruit more skilled employees from India.
However, Woolas said the points based system "does allow you to
control numbers."

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