Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser
Labour threw open Britain's borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a "truly multicultural" country, a former Government adviser has revealed.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor 23 Oct 2009
The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.
He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".
As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.
Critics said the revelations showed a "conspiracy" within Government to impose mass immigration for "cynical" political reasons.
Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s.
"I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn't its main purpose – to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."
The "deliberate policy", from late 2000 until "at least February last year", when the new points based system was introduced, was to open up the UK to mass migration, he said.
Some 2.3 million migrants have been added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out last month.
He defended the policy, saying mass immigration has "enriched" Britain, and made London a more attractive and cosmopolitan place.
"Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right.
"This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage."
The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said: "We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true.
"It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain."