Jeremy Corbyn 'Selfish' For Not Wanting To Curb Immigration, Ukip's Steven Woolfe Says

'It’s easy to be relaxed if you lived in a million pound house'.

30/09/2016 00:31 | Updated 30 September 2016

Jeremy Corbyn is “selfish” for not wanting to curb immigration and is too well off to feel its impact, Ukip’s Steven Woolfe has said.

The party’s immigration spokesman told BBC Question Time that the Labour leader was “reckless” and “irresponsible” to be “relaxed” and “not concerned” about the level of immigration.

In his conference speech on Wednesday, Corbyn said Labour would “not offer false promises on immigration as the Tories have done”, a reference to David Cameron’s failure to deliver on a pledge to cut net migration to below 100,000 a year. It hit a record high of 336,000 in the year to June 2015. 

HuffPost UK
Steven Woolfe on BBC Question Time

Woolfe, who was previous favourite to succeed Nigel Farage as Ukip leader until he was excluded from the race, said: “[Corbyn] is reckless, he is irresponsible and he is selfish...

“It’s easy to be relaxed if you lived in a million pound house in a nice, comfortable zone in London. It’s easy to be relaxed if you have a salary provided by you, in the audience.

“It’s easy to be relaxed if you have a pension most people in this country would dream about.”

Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick
Corbyn said Labour would 'not offer false promises on immigration as the Tories have done'

This week’s Question Time came from Boston in Lincolnshire, the town that recorded the highest Leave vote in the referendum, with more than 75% of voters backing leaving the EU.

Woolfe said the town had had to build more houses to cope with influxes of immigrants. He also claimed crime had risen and the local hospital has suffered longer waiting times due to immigration.

He added: “You cannot... create a fair, ethical migration policy without a visa system that controls the number of people coming in.”

Representing Labour, Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon said: “Without immigration, you can’t maintain our NHS either.” 

Woolfe called this a “dignified point” and said immigration was “necessary and important”. 

“All we have ever said is we must not have uncontrolled, mass migration,” he added.

Earlier in the programme, Burgon said Corbyn was “alert” to people’s concerns about immigration.

Burgon, who is on Labour’s Left, said: “Jeremy Corbyn in his speech said he is concerned about the free movement of labour being used by unscrupulous employers to undercut paid terms and conditions.

“Tony Blair didn’t say much about that. Gordon Brown didn’t say much about that. So he is alert to that.”

He also condemned the Conservative Government for abolishing the Migration Impact Fund, which paid out money to places that had high levels of immigration.

“It was meant to help areas like Boston... And as Jeremy said in his speech 

Woolfe and Burgon appeared alongside Sun columnist Rod Liddle, playwright Bonnie Greer and Tory MP Priti Patel.

Suggest a correction