The Labour leadership are telling MPs to hold coffee mornings with voters to show they are “listening to their concerns”. In a leaked document, seen by the Sun, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper says Labour must been seen to be listening to supporters.
The document comes amid fears that UKIP are attracting traditional Labour voters, potentially undermining the party in its heartlands. Working class Labour voters are becoming increasingly hostile to immigration, yet their party presided over the highest immigration numbers in British history while it was in office during the last decade.
Former party adviser Andrew Neather admitted in 2009 that the party allowed in record numbers of immigrants to “rub the right’s nose in diversity”.
The immigration campaign pack, which is 20 pages long, was sent to MPs and candidates last week. The document suggests holding “listening events” with constituents, in order to explain how “Labour’s approach to immigration has changed.”
It adds: “It is recommended that this is an informal event, for example a coffee morning.”
A spokesman for Ms Cooper defended the pack. He told the Sun: “We believe we should be talking about immigration a lot more and one way to do that is at coffee mornings.
“We shouldn’t ape Ukip, we should take them on.
“This document outlines our progressive approach to immigration – it has benefits, but those benefits need to be shared by everyone.”
Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke said it showed Labour were “hopelessly out of touch”.
“We don’t need coffee mornings, we need action,” he said.
“Under Labour, pretty much everyone was allowed to wander into the country, but under this Government, we’ve seen action to make our borders safe and secure and a crackdown on benefit tourism.
“We need to see more action like that.”