Leaked Labour Document: Don’t Talk About Immigration

Fact checked

Apparently, the UK Labour party is concerned it will lose some votes in the upcoming elections.  A leaked confidential document has been released called “Campaigning Against Ukip”.

The document was dated November, 2014 and it makes it appear that Labour is concerned it will lose votes to Nigel Farage’s party.

According to the article “Campaigning Against Ukip: Leaked strategy document warns Labour not to talk about immigration” [1]:

Labour MPs should take on Ukip by trying to talk more about the NHS, housing and education than immigration, according to a leaked strategy document.

The confidential guide, called Campaigning Against Ukip and dated last month, makes clear that Labour is concerned it could lose votes to Nigel Farage’s party.

It warns that Ukip could attract former Labour supporters “who feel that the party has left them behind in pursuit of better-educated, middle-class, white-collar voters”.

The document, which was obtained by The Daily Telegraph, says: “Immigration is the issue people most often cite when explaining support for UKIP … It does not however follow that campaigning on immigration issues and emphasising our policies in our conversations with electors is always the correct response.

“When we embark on policy messaging around immigration, which is not an area where Labour has the strongest lead over other parties, we should ensure that this messaging is always done in conjunction with other policy areas.

“The purpose of this is to raise the salience of those issues in which Labour has a much clearer lead and stands to benefit more from their prominence with the electorate.”

It describes immigration as a “complex issue” but adds that Labour Party policies “tend to be accepted as common sense” once they are explained.

“However, writing to electors proactively (ie without evidence the elector is concerned about it) about immigration risks undermining the broad coalition of support we need to return to government, for the following reasons: as a general rule, a higher salience for the issue does not translate into electoral advantage for us,” the document says.

Sending leaflets to everyone in an area would “inevitably be hitting some people for whom it is unhelpful to raise the salience of immigration as an issue”.

But when people raise the issue, the strategists say the party “must reassure electors that we understand concerns they raise on immigration and are proposing policies to ensure effective integration” and “deliver a clear message on the threat that Farage poses”.

“Above all, we must remind potential UKIP supporters of the threat UKIP poses to the NHS in their local area and encourage them to think more about this, and other areas of Labour Party policy, than immigration,” the document says.

Frank Field, a former welfare minister, said: “I think this must be an April Fools’ Day pack because not campaigning on immigration is exactly what Ukip wants us to do.”

A Labour spokesman said: “This document sets out clearly how candidates and activists will explain our policies on immigration and seek to explain how they fit into an overall vision for a country that works for everyday working people not just a few.

“Today Ed Miliband will deliver his fourth major intervention on immigration and publish our second key election pledge which is also on immigration.

“This reflects the priority which he and the Labour Party attaches to an issue on which the Labour Party and many voters have deep concern.”



[1] Campaigning Against Ukip: Leaked strategy document warns Labour not to talk about immigration