Labour must fight disenchantment in its heartlands to win

The backdrop to such passions and legislative pronouncements has been the increasing number of immigrants. According to Home Office statistics, the total number of migrants coming to the UK for more than one year rose from 326,100 in 1997 to 582,100 in 2004

Overshadowing these important reforms was the 2004 decision to allow citizens of eight countries that were about to join the EU the immediate right to work in Britain. This decision alone resulted in one of the largest migration flows in Britain’s peacetime history.

Put into historical context, Labour’s reforms were an unprecedented policy reversal. With 2.5m foreign-born workers added to the population since 1997 and net migration averaging 200,000 per year between 1997 and 2010 – five times higher than under the previous administration government of 1990-1996 – immigration under Labour quite literally changed the face of Britain.

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