Yvette Cooper today accused the Government of resorting to “divisive gimmicks” and borrowing the language of the extreme Right in two controversial schemes this summer against illegal immigration.
The shadow Home Secretary denounced the controversial “ad vans” that urged illegal immigrants to “go home” or be deported and the spot-checks at London railway stations in districts with large ethnic minority populations.
She claimed the initiatives proved the Conservatives were once again the “nasty party” and promised such schemes would not be allowed by a Labour government.
Ms Cooper told the party’s conference: “Unlike the Tories, we won’t do ad vans sent to the areas with the highest black and minority ethnic British communities, borrowing the language of the 1970s National Front.
“Those ad vans were driving past the homes and offices of families whose parents and grandparents had to endure those same slogans scrawled high in graffiti forty years ago, whose children now run local businesses, work in hospitals and schools, serve their country in our armed forces.”
She said it “really comes to something” when even Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, protested that the Home Office had gone too far.
Ms Cooper also attacked the random checks carried out on Tube passengers which were revealed in July by The Independent.
“Unlike the Tories, we won’t do checks at London tube stations, asking British people to prove their immigration status, targeted at people for the colour of their skin.”
She said: “I say enough of these divisive gimmicks - they are an utter disgrace.”
Ms Cooper added: “A decade ago [Home Secretary] Theresa May was a moderniser, warning the Tories they had become the ‘nasty party’.
“The nasty party is back, they will divide, we must unite, they will play the politics of fear. We, the Labour Party, must build the politics of hope.”