Immigration Tops Election Agenda For Poole Seat

Immigration tops election agenda for Poole seat

April 19, 2010

The Lib Dems and UKIP want tougher border controls

Immigration has been highlighted as a key issue for voters in Poole, where candidates include the only BNP member standing in Dorset.

Conservative Robert Syms, who is hoping to be re-elected, wants an annual cap on people coming to the UK.

The Liberal Democrats and UKIP both called for a tougher border force. Labour said its “points system” was better for the economy than a quota.

The BNP said it welcomes migrants that want to work or create jobs in the UK.

Mr Syms said: “People feel very aggrieved by it. Poole is a port and people do get in illegally.

“But there is a lot of misinformation about immigrants coming over here and getting houses and money which is not always true.

“Our party has a policy to cap the numbers coming in per year, but we need to be careful we don't stop people coming in with skills.”

Philip Eades, for the Lib Dems, said: “We have a tradition of harmony and international trade that befits a maritime town, we are not overrun with immigrants in Poole and I believe that politicians should be very careful with what they say.

“I support a strong UK border force at Poole Port and Bournemouth Airport, I support a points-based immigration system for non-EU nationals and I praise the efforts that EU nationals have made in Poole in recent years.”

'Welfare drain'

Jason Sanderson, for Labour, said: “The facts are that asylum claims are down to the levels of the early 1990s and net inward migration has also fallen.

“Also as a government we will use our new points-based system to ensure that as the economy returns to growth, we will see rising employment and wages, not rising immigration.

“We also totally reject the arbitrary and unworkable Tory quota that would actually damage our economy.”

Nick Wellstead, for UKIP, said: “As Poole is a port, we have experienced an increase in immigrants over the last few years.

“This has resulted in schools, health, housing and transport infrastructure being tested.

“I would bring forward a members' bill proposing tougher border controls for all non-UK citizens entering the UK.”

BNP's David Holmes added: “The BNP would not stop all immigration.

“I would be quite happy for anybody who wants to come into this country to invest and create jobs… rather than be a drain on our welfare system.”

The candidates so far for Poole are Robert Syms, Conservative; Philip Eades, Liberal Democrat; Jason Sanderson, Labour; Nick Wellstead, UKIP and David Holmes, BNP.