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UK PM caught up in immigration row

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On Thursday, 6th March 2014, the UK's new immigration minister James Brokenshire made his debut speech as minister. His aim seems to have been to show that the Conservatives Party, of which both Mr Brokenshire and the UK's Prime Minister David Cameron are members, is the only party which should be trusted with the UK's immigration regime.

Unfortunately, for Mr Brokenshire, his speech was not a great success. It has been condemned from all sides. The chairman of the Institute of Directors, Simon Walker, described it as 'feeble and pathetic' and a former Labour Party advisor, Dan Hodges, writing in The Daily Telegraph called it 'stupid, intellectually bankrupt and vacuous'.

Worse yet for Mr Brokenshire, a man newly plucked from obscurity and no doubt with dreams of greatness, his speech has embarrassed Mr Cameron, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Mr Brokenshire's boss at the Home Office Theresa May.

Immigration minister employed illegal immigrant

James Brokenshire became immigration minister in February after his predecessor, Mark Harper, realised that he had been employing an illegal immigrant as the cleaner in his London flat for seven years and resigned.

Given the reason for Mr Harper's departure from office, one might have expected Mr Brokenshire to tread carefully around such issues but nothing could have been further from the truth. The speech has drawn widespread criticism.

Perhaps the speech was an attempt by Mr Brokenshire to win back votes from ex-Tory voters who were now voting for UKIP. Last year Nigel Farage of UKIP had the following to say.

'Cheap nannies, cheap chauffeurs, cheap gardeners'

'If you're comfortably off then mass immigration is good because it's cheap nannies, cheap chauffeurs, cheap gardeners,"

Mr Brokenshire's remarks were similar to Mr Farage's remarks. He told his audience at the Demos think tank in London that the benefits of immigration went to employers and a 'wealthy metropolitan elite' who wanted 'cheap tradesmen and services' at the expense of the 'ordinary, hard-working people of this country'.

While Mr Farage and UKIP may have benefitted from such remarks the same could not be said for " Mr Brokenshire and the Conservative Party.

Most of government are members of 'metropolitan elite'

It is somewhat surprising that it didn't occur to him that the Prime Minister Mr Cameron a member of the same party and other ministers were members of the 'wealthy, metropolitan elite'.

After all, in November 2013, The Independent newspaper pointed out that about 20 ministers in Mr Cameron's government are millionaires. Mr Cameron himself is said to be worth £4m. The government has consistently been attacked for being metropolitan, elite and for not understanding the concerns of ordinary working men and women.

After Mr Brokenshire's speech, journalists pressed the Prime Minister's office for details of his childcare arrangements. It has emerged that Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha, have employed two nannies from outside the European Union.

'The brightest and the best'

They employ a Nepalese woman, Gita Lima and also employed an Australian, Sammi Strange. Both women worked as child-minders for their children. Both have since been granted UK citizenship. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said that this was because the two women were some of 'the brightest and the best' who the government want to attract to the UK.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was forced to reveal that he and his wife Miriam employ a young woman from Belgium to look after their children and the Home Secretary Theresa May revealed that her cleaner is from Brazil.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, journalist Iain Martin reports one minister as saying 'the Cabinet is full of people who employ immigrants. For us to draw attention to this while trying to highlight concerns about immigration is not very smart'.

Many Brits don't do domestic work

Sanwar Ali of said 'Many British members of the "metropolitan elite" employ foreign women to look after their children and clean their houses. This is hardly surprising. Many Brits just do not want to do this sort of work.

'It does not seem to have been very intelligent politics on Mr Brokenshire's part to in effect criticise the prime minister and the Home Secretary in his first major speech as immigration minister'.

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