[Mr. Edward O'Hara in the Chair] — Population and Immigration

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:46 am on 2nd February 2010.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead 9:46 am, 2nd February 2010

The thought that I will be running "historically" as a Labour candidate has driven the Whip from the Chamber. Perhaps he is going to write it down on tablets of stone.

We have to make a distinction between the machinery left by the previous Government and the actual numbers. Indeed, one very good thing happened recently when the Conservative leader said that he wished to reduce net immigration to the levels of the early 1990s, not the late 1990s. Although I deplore what has happened since Labour came to power, I am not blind to the fact that the issue did not start with us; there was an acceleration in net migration under the previous Conservative Government.