Sarah Teather: ‘I’m angry there are no alternative voices on immigration’

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Had Sarah Teather not lost her job in the last reshuffle, she would now sit on an internal ministerial group whose working title so alarmed her that she tried to have it publicly exposed. “We tried to FoI [Freedom of Information] it out, and they would not let us. I was trying to get it out because, to be honest, I was so appalled.”

The group exists for the purpose of requiring ministers across government to come up with new ways to make immigrants’ lives more difficult, by outsourcing the scrutiny of their legal status to professionals who must act as unpaid immigration officers. The Lib Dems did manage to get it renamed, and it now goes by the title of the inter-ministerial group on migrants’ access to benefits and public services. But when first conceived, “on the explicit instructions of the prime minister”, it was called the hostile environment working group – its job being to make Britain a hostile environment to unwanted immigrants. Teather shudders and half laughs in disbelief: “You could not make it up.”

 

Read more at the Guardian

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