Labour's support for immigration means it will be 'out of power for a generation'

John Mann: White working class are deserting Labour for Ukip
John Mann: White working class are deserting Labour for Ukip
Adam Bienkov By

Labour is out of touch with it's core supporters on immigration and will be 'out of power for a generation' unless it changes, one of it's MPs claimed last night.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann said that white working class voters and trade unionists had already deserted the party for Ukip, because of Labour's support for immigration.

"My evidence is that if you're in a trade union and you're a man, at the last election you are much more likely to have voted Ukip. Not, not voted, not voted Labour but voted Ukip. That is the private feedback that unions are getting internally but are very reluctant to share."

Mann claimed that Unite general secretary Len McCluskey had privately told him that "vast" numbers of his members were now backing Ukip.


He said the party were "glorying in the middle classes" joining the party in recent months, while trade unionists "sat on their hands" or left the party.

Corbyn has already made it clear that the party will not shift it's stance on immigration. Mann said this policy meant the party was now 'out of touch ' with voters.

He said he had personally come under attack from his local supporters after suggesting that his constituency could take in refugees from Syria.

"The reaction to me when I said perhaps we should accept ten Syrian families… for the hundred thousand people in Bassetlaw… it was 99.9% against any immigrants and that includes Labour party members attacking me on social media for daring to suggest that ten more immigrant families should be allowed into this country. That is not the debate going on in the higher echelons of the Labour party.

"I need to understand that I am totally out of touch with my voters.. and if I don't and we don't we will lose."

He attacked Jeremy Corbyn for declining to be seen supporting the England rugby team.

"[White working class people] would like the Labour leader and me to be cheering on the England rugby team… with a flag with a shirt and shorts drinking a beer like they're doing. They would like that.

"They would like to see Labour representatives do that. They would like to see us collecting in the buckets for Help for Heroes. They would like to see me launching the poppy appeal. Why? Because part of their value base is precisely that. And if we don't do that and do so proudly and understand why it's right and proper that we do that then we will lose the white working class and we deserve to do so."

He said he wanted to take Corbyn to knock on doors in his constituency to hear their concerns about immigration.

"Jeremy has asked to come to Bassetlaw. I suspect he thinks if he comes he is going to have a rally of the faithful. Well he is not. If he comes he will be knocking on doors with me of the very people who tell me they are not voting Labour because of immigration, and let him them listen and think and he will need to do it long enough to realise that he is not being set up because the more houses you do the more you realise that the message is consistent.

He attacked Corbyn for surrounding himself with "Trots" who do not understand the working class.

"I've looked at who Jeremy Corbyn has appointed. I tell you one thing about them. I know them all. I know them all because they were all Trots in IMG and socialist action 20, 30 years ago and they're still hanging around now. That's not new politics, John Ross and all the rest of them coming back in. That is just the same elitism. And so they can come with [Corbyn] and do some door knocking. And then we can have a focus group but what they've learnt from their canvas returns and how they are going to change their policies to do something about it."

Simon Danczuk MP: Mann was joined on the panel by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk.

Danczuk attacked Corbyn for criticising the press during his speech yesterday.

"We have to use the media. People say to me 'what are you doing writing for the Mail' or The Sun. Ed Miliband in his conference speech before the general election attacked the two biggest selling newspapers in the country. You couldn't make it up. Millions of people read these publications. And what did Jeremy do today. He attacked the media. People read this stuff. You can't communicate just through the Daily Mirror you know."

Danczuk was heckled by one Labour member in the audience.

"Millions of working class people you get paid to represent, get vilified by those papers for more than 30 years," the man said.

"My Jewish community have been vilified by the Daily Mail."

Danczuk dismissed the man's concerns.

"Listen if you don't want to read it don't read it. It's up to you," he replied.

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