POLITICS

'Racist Van' Home Office Campaign Likened To The National Front By Labour's Yvette Cooper

25/09/2013 13:36 BST

The government has been accused of employing National Front-style tactics with its 'go home' illegal immigration van campaign.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper tore into the controversial Home Office adverts as she addressed the Labour Party conference in Brighton, branding them an "utter disgrace".

The vans - carrying the slogan 'In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest' - were driven around ethnically-diverse parts of London in July.

yvette cooper racist van

Cooper slammed the Home Office's tactics

Critics, including Vince Cable, Nigel Farage and anti-racism campaigners, attacked the strong-arm tactics, but opinion polls showed the public were largely in favour.

Launching Labour's strongest criticism to date of the Home Office campaign, Cooper said: "Unlike the Tories, we won’t do checks at London tube stations, asking British people to prove their immigration status, targeted at people for the colour of their skin.

"Unlike the Tories, we won’t do ad vans sent to the areas with the highest black and minority ethnic British communities.

"Borrowing the language of the 1970s National Front.

"And conference, just consider, those ad Vans were driving past the homes and offices of families whose parents and grandparents had to endure those same slogans scrawled high in graffiti forty years ago.

"Whose children now run local businesses, work in hospitals and schools, serve their country in our armed forces.

"Conference it really comes to something when even Nigel Farage says you’ve gone too far.

"Those ad vans weren’t about illegal immigration.

"I say enough of these divisive gimmicks they are an utter disgrace."