Home Secretary under attack
IoD boss hits out at May for ‘vilifying’ immigrants
A business leader has attacked Home Secretary Theresa May for “pandering to the anti-immigration lobby” and hitting those companies that need foreign workers.
Responding to her speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, accused Mrs May (pictured) of dealing in myths and failing to understand the positive contribution incomers make to the economy.
She told Tory delegates that “when immigration gets too high it is impossible to build a cohesive society.”
Mrs May added that mass immigration was of “zero economic benefit” to Britain.
Mr Walker said: “We are astonished by the irresponsible rhetoric and pandering to anti-immigration sentiment from the Home Secretary.
“It is yet another example of the Home Secretary turning away the world’s best and brightest, putting internal party politics ahead of the country, and helping our competitor economies instead of our own.
He continued: “The myth of the job-stealing-immigrant is nonsense. Immigrants do not steal jobs, they help fill vital skill shortages and, in doing so, create demand and more jobs. If they did steal jobs, we wouldn’t have the record levels of employment we currently do.
The IoD says half of all its members employ people from overseas.
“It is about time the Home Office stopped undermining business and our own government’s efforts to secure productivity growth,” said Mr Walker. “Political leaders should stop vilifying migrants and acknowledge the hugely important contribution they make to this country’s economy.
“While employers recognise public concerns, heated rhetoric cannot be allowed to prevail over cool-headed leadership.
“We need a comprehensive immigration review to set out a sensible plan for managing inward migration in a way that supports our economy, works for our businesses, and addresses public concerns.”