Published On: Mon, Apr 30th, 2018

'Are you serious?' Owen Jones slapped down by conservative commentator in heated TV row

resigned from her position as Home Secretary on Sunday evening after she admitted she “inadvertently” misled MPs over government targets for removing illegal migrants.

Ms Rudd also referred to the Windrush scandal in her resignation letter which sparked the initial row about immigration policy.

Speaking on Sky News, executive editor of Conservative Home Mark Wallace, clashed with commentator Owen Jones over immigration in the UK and how the Government should handle illegal immigration.

He said: “I’m sorry Owen but you have just done it yet again. What you have started doing is using this very broad brush term ‘immigrants’. ‘Scapegoating immigrants’ in your terms, while you talk about abolishing the idea of any ‘hostile environment’ policy.

“Are you seriously saying, firstly there should be no distinction between legitimate migrants and legitimate residents in this country and illegal immigrants.

“Are you seriously saying we should not have a system that asks and checks whether people are legitimately in this country or not?”

Jones was critical of Windrush Generation scandal before he moved onto criticising the Government over the introduction of voter ID in elections.

He said: “No I am not saying we should not have a system, that doesn’t document migrants. That is not what we are talking about with the hostile environment.

“We are talking about turning teachers and nurses and private landlords into unpaid border guards for the British state.

“We are now talking about the introduction of voter ID. This is modelled on the Republican right in America which has tried to restrict the franchise, restrict the electorate, to more affluent white voters who are more likely to vote for them.

“Voter ID we know both in America and in this country those least likely to have voter ID are people from black and ethnic minority communities.

“What will happen in practice, as a consequence of this policy, is voters from black and ethnic minority communities are disproportionally going to be turned away from polling stations to deal with an issue of voter fraud which is minimal. I am going to ask you, Mark, are you not scared of that eventuality given four or five years ago me and you would have been on Sky News debating immigration bill and you would have accused me of scaremongering and look at where we have ended up.”

Mr Wallace replied: “Firstly, was that your answer to my direct question a moment ago about why it is you are proposing we should have a system that does not ask about questions of legitimate migration or illegitimate migration.

“You asked me to wait while you gave your speech a moment ago. The second thing to say is that personally, I have had some experience of dealing with the Home Office’s mixture of incompetence and hostility when it comes to the rights of legitimate migrants.

“There are very big serious problems in that system and very serious problems evidently that need to be sorted out. It is a very serious issue, I don’t think it is right to blur the distinctions between legitimate migrants and legitimate residents in this country and illegal immigration.

“What you have just asserted about the idea of where voter ID and proper secure ballot in this country comes from, it is simply isn’t true. You ignore the fact we already have this system in place in Northern Ireland. You ignore the fact this is an official recommendation in order to improve the security of our ballot.

“And you also pursue this peculiar idea as if voters of all different ethnic backgrounds are not capable of demonstrating very simple tests on their identification to have a fair ballot.”

The huge row comes as Sajid Javid was named as the new Home Secretary and pledged to “look carefully” at the Government’s immigration policy.

In her letter to Mrs May, Ms Rudd said: “I feel it is necessary to do so because I inadvertently misled the Home Affairs Select Committee over targets for removal of illegal immigrants during their questions on Windrush.

“Since appearing before the Select Committee, I have reviewed the advice I was given on this issue and become aware of the information provided to my office which makes mention of targets.

“I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not.”

Daily Express :: News Feed