Andy Burnham today returned to the debate on immigration that has emerged between the leadership candidates in recent days. Speaking to Sky News, Burnham said:
“immigration was a big issue, if not the biggest issue put over to us on the doorsteps.”
However Burnham disagreed with Ed Balls’ plans to limit immigration from Eastern Europe:
“I don’t think it’s as easy as saying you just go ahead and limit the numbers, I don’t think it’s easy just to say that we can turn back the clock and limit the free movement of labour.”
Balls wrote earlier in the Observer that:
“As Labour seeks to rebuild trust with the British people, it is important we are honest about what we got wrong. In retrospect, Britain should not have rejected transitional controls on migration from the first wave of new EU member states in 2004, which we were legally entitled to impose.”
This contrasts with Diane Abbot, who recently argued that working class voters were “moaning” about immigration.