Blair slams tories in Dover speech

Contributed by editor on Apr 22, 2005 - 04:28 PM


Visiting Dover today (22 April), at the front line in the battle to secure Britain's borders, Tony Blair called for the issues of immigration and asylum to be kept "in perspective".

He claimed the Conservatives were trying to exploit people's fears o­n immigration and asylum.

Conservative leader Michael Howard has made immigration o­ne of his key election themes claiming the system is "out of control" and wants annual quotas for both immigration and asylum.

Mr Blair attacked the way the Tories were raising the issue but acknowledged there were genuine concerns, he said it was essential to be fair both to British taxpayers and to genuine asylum seekers and legal migrants who boosted the UK economy.

"It is an attempt deliberately to exploit people's fears" he said.

"The opposite was really true, Labour had cut asylum claims faster than anywhere else in Europe to the lowest level since March 1997."