Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tackled the political hot potato of immigration when she visited Northwich on Thursday (January 15).

Residents of Northwich, Weaverham and Hartford, as well as students from Sir John Deane’s College and St Nicholas Catholic High School, participated in a Labour listening event with Ms Cooper and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Weaver Vale Julia Tickridge at Winnington Park Recreation Centre.

Ms Cooper, who has been MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford since 2010, criticised the Government’s stand on immigration and called for ‘more action’.

She said: “It’s really important to hear people’s views in Northwich about how the immigration system should work.

“Immigration is important for Britain’s future and that’s why it needs to be properly controlled and managed, so the system is fair.

“More action is needed to tackle illegal immigration and stop dodgy employers exploiting immigration to undercut local jobs and wages.

“The Tory approach just isn’t working. David Cameron promised ‘no ifs, no buts’ he would meet his net migration target - yet their target is in tatters.”

Ms Cooper went on to explain how the Labour party would strengthen borders with new checks and 1,000 more enforcement staff.

She added: “Labour would change the rules so people can’t claim benefits until they’ve been working and living here for more than two years.

“We would also introduce new rules to stop employers and agencies who only recruit from abroad, do more to enforce the minimum wage and make serious exploitation in the workplace a criminal offence.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper with Julia Tickridge, Labour parliamentary candidate for Weaver Vale
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper with Julia Tickridge, Labour parliamentary candidate for Weaver Vale
 

Julia Tickridge, Labour parliamentary candidate for Weaver Vale, said she was ‘delighted’ to welcome Ms Cooper to Northwich and by the ‘fantastic turnout’ of local people who contributed to the debate.

“This was the first of a series of Labour listening events I will be facilitating with local people across the communities of Weaver Vale as the Labour Party candidate in the run up to the general election and I’m already looking forward to the next one!”