Kirkby residents talk immigration with Labour spokesperson Yvette Cooper and parliamentary candidate Gloria De Piero

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper visits Springfield Methodist Church in Bispham to discuss immigration issues
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper visits Springfield Methodist Church in Bispham to discuss immigration issues

Immigration spokesperson for Labour Yvette Cooper came to Kirkby’s Bentinck Miners Welfare to support parliamentary candidate Gloria De Piero in her bid to tackle immigration issues.

Residents raised issues such as the benefits system, use of the NHS, crimes and deportations and the introduction of a points system - similar to Australia’s existing model. Here is what she had to say.

“We should have stronger checks and the borders. Part entry and exit checks would be put in place.”

BORDER CHECKS

MS Cooper told residents: “We should have stronger checks and the borders. Part entry and exit checks would be put in place.”

She said Labour would employ 1,000 more staff to carry out this role - and that would be paid for via entrance fees from holiday makers or people from other countries.

“Immigration is important for Britain but it undermines the legal system if there is no enforcement of the law.”

CRIMES

Many residents were concerned that if a person had committed a crime they should not be allowed to stay in the country and serve time in Britain’s tax-funded prisons.

Ms Cooper said: “We should have a stronger system . People should not be able to enter the country if they have a string of criminal offences. There should not be free movement for criminals.”

BENEFITS

Ms Cooper said: “Immigrants should not be able to claim benefits until they have been working in Britain for at least two years.” She said that should be for those inside Europe as well as outside Europe.

PAY AND EMPLOYMENT

Residents raised concerns about employees taking advantage of European workers.

Ms Cooper said: “There is a big problem with dodgy employers who exploit immigrants.” She said recruitment solely from abroad needed to stop as well as zero hour contracts. “If we improve rights for immigrant workers, we improve rights for all workers in Britain,” she added. Ms Cooper said more money should be brought in from Europe to account for extra costs Britain faces.