Gordon Brown's bigot remark was wrong, says Ed Miliband

 

Gordon Brown was wrong to brand pensioner Gillian Duffy a bigot because of her concerns over immigration, Ed Miliband said.

The Labour leader said the ex-Prime Minister should not have criticised the Rochdale woman's comments during the 2010 general election campaign.

The fiasco was a defining moment of the run-up to the poll, with Mr Brown recorded making unguarded remarks about Mrs Duffy after she confronted him about eastern European workers.

"I don't believe our immigration system has been working for working people over the last few years. Worrying about immigration, talking about immigration, thinking about immigration, does not make people bigots," the Labour leader wrote in an article for the Daily Mirror.

Mr Miliband also said he would force job agencies to give British workers "a fair crack of the whip" under a Labour government, and called for tougher fines for businesses which knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

And Mr Miliband, whose parents were immigrants to Britain, demanded tighter rules to stop foreign workers being exploited.

"We also need to make sure that everyone gets a fair crack of the whip when it comes to job opportunities," he wrote.

"In some industries the majority of workers are hired on a temporary basis via recruitment agencies.

"In the meat processing sector, up to a third of workers are hired this way. Because they are hired on a temporary basis, these workers often have fewer rights.

"And because sometimes these agencies only advertise for new recruits abroad, or find other ways of just recruiting foreign workers, local people often feel locked out of the recruitment process altogether. That cannot be the right direction for our country."

He added: "We already have laws to stop workers being discriminated against.

"Most people will think that if vacancies are advertised abroad, they should be advertised locally.

"If they are only advertised abroad, that's just not fair.

"The Government should look at how the law can be better enforced to prevent this."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk