SIR KEIR STARMER Some say we should not talk about immigration. Others want Britain to shut up shop. Both are wrong

TAMWORTH is a proud and prosperous town.

Its twice-weekly market, indoor ice rink and famous castle attract visitors from near and far.

The British public are tired of promises when it comes to stopping small boats

The Bibby Stockholm fiasco proved to be another failed Tory attempt to plug the migration crisis

Even the local football team, Tamworth FC, currently sit top of the league.

But beneath the surface, residents are concerned.

Tamworth in Staffs is one of the many places across the country that has a so-called “asylum hotel”.

These hotels are the physical embodiment of the Government’s miserable ­failure to process claims and tackle small boat crossings.

A local Tory councillor claims that when the Home Office was asked to come and discuss the impact the hotel was having on the town centre, they declined.

There’s been no shortage of rhetoric.

The British public have been promised everything from wave machines to jet-ski patrols.

But the outcome is always the same.Lots of talk, precious little action.

Criminal gangs

The Rwanda scheme has cost the taxpayer £140million.

Not a single person has been deported via it.

The Bibby Stockholm barge moored off the Dorset coast was abandoned after just days due to a bacteria outbreak.

Not a single asylum seeker is currently housed there.

Even when they are, it won’t make a dent in the problem.

Meanwhile, the asylum backlog is over 175,000 and the taxpayer is paying more than £6million a day in hotel bills.

This cannot go on.

Only one group is benefitting from this farce.

Not the British public.

Not those stuck in asylum limbo.

Not the taxpayer footing the bill.

No. The only people it’s working for are the evil criminal gangs making a mockery of us all.

Those gangs are all too aware of our Government’s weakness.

Their failure has created an entire ­criminal industry worth £200million a year to those despicable hawkers of human misery, shovelling people on to boats and into the Channel.

Their sprawling criminal empire begins on the Continent and now ends with towns across the country picking up the pieces.

For as long as these gangs exist, people will risk life and limb to cross the ­Channel.

That means there is no way of getting to grips with the chaos at our borders that doesn’t start with smashing them at source.

As Director of Public Prosecutions I worked with the police, the security ­services and bodies at home and abroad to tackle terrorists and people smugglers.

Now, I want to use my decades of experience to ensure you have a ­government properly focused on dealing with this.

With Labour, you won’t get more ­gimmicks.

You won’t get half-baked ideas that are never followed through.

You won’t get more slogans.

You’ll get a proper plan to stop these dangerous boat crossings.

I will ensure Britain leads the Continent in this.

That is going to mean setting up a brand new police unit, working both here and abroad, entirely dedicated to breaking up the smugglers’ business model.

That unit will be assisted in its work by handing them National Crime Agency-style ­powers — like those the NCA has to deal with organised crime and drug dealers — to ­protect our borders.

Make no mistake: With a Labour ­government, those who make British lives a misery will face British force — and British justice.

But I’ll also be clear about what we won’t do.

We won’t allow those fleeing warzones or persecution to be made scapegoats for government failure.

We won’t make promises we can’t keep.

And we won’t waste taxpayer money on meaningless nonsense, as this Government has done.

I know some people don’t like me ­talking about this issue.

There are some who say that Labour shouldn’t talk about immigration or shouldn’t believe in secure borders.

On the other side, there are some who want us to turn our back on the world and shut up shop.

Both are wrong.

Both are un-British.

We are a tolerant, generous and ­outward-looking people.

The millions of pounds Sun readers have raised for ­victims of natural ­disasters across the world demonstrate this.

The British people know that we are not an island alone.

But they also know that strong borders are non-negotiable.

They exist to protect us and those we love from harm.

If you don’t have control of your ­borders, you don’t have control at all.

We rightly talk about the importance of climate change, terrorism and hostile ­foreign powers when it comes to our ­national security.

But we now need to put dealing with the threat of people smugglers on the same footing.

So I make no apologies for saying that Labour’s approach will be tough on illegal immigration — but also tough on discrimination.

Leading in Europe

We will be tough on those exploiting people — but also tough on those exploiting our generosity.

Our approach will be to replace the words of this Government with action

Not a single illegal migrant has been removed via Suella Braverman's Rwanda scheme despite costing taxpayers £140 million

It will see Britain begin the fightback on this issue — showing that just because we are outside the EU, it doesn’t stop us ­leading in Europe.

But most importantly, it will help to restore people’s faith that government can deliver for them.

For too long, hard-working, decent ­people in this country have been let down.

They’ve told politicians to focus on their wants. Their desires. Their needs.

But they’ve faced disappointment after disappointment.

It has let cynicism seep in.

I want to turn around this sorry state of affairs.

I’m not going to promise the world or pretend that everything can be solved overnight.

But just as I’ve changed the Labour Party through sheer hard work and ­determination — I believe, together, we can change Britain for the better.

To restore to full health our economy, our public services, our borders.

To put government back in the service of working people.

To build a better Britain.

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