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Corbyn says Tories are ‘simply making up’ numbers to attack Labour's immigration stance

The Labour leader said his party will ‘commit to a fair immigration process that recognises the huge contribution made by migrant workers to this country’

JEREMY CORBYN accused the Tories of using fictitious numbers to attack Labour’s stance on immigration as he continued his tour of Scotland today. 

Responding to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s claim that a motion passed at Labour conference to “maintain and extend free movement rights” would result in net migration of 840,000 people per year to Britain, Mr Corbyn said he had “no idea” where the figures came from. 

“I suspect they just quite simply make them up,” he said. 

With the parties yet to unveil their manifestos, Mr Corbyn did not commit to the conference motion specifically, warning that “not every dot and comma from conference” would be included.

“What I will commit to is a fair immigration process that recognises the huge contribution made by migrant workers to this country,” he said in Dundee.

“And also recognising that, because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the NHS now has 40,000 more vacancies, the longest waiting times in history, the longest queues for A&E departments and very large numbers of people waiting for operations, often because of staff shortages brought about by us not recruiting enough overseas doctors or nurses.

“We have got to be realistic about the needs of our economy for bringing skilled workers in to help us.”

Meanwhile, Ms Patel appeared to climb down from her own immigration commitments, referring repeatedly in an interview in Surrey to “controlling” immigration rather that reducing it as she had earlier promised.

Mr Corbyn’s comments came as he visited Dundee, Midlothian and Linlithgow on the second day of a Scottish tour.

At campaign stops, Mr Corbyn highlighted chronically high poverty levels north of the border and said a Labour government would oversee the “massive investment Scotland deserves.”

In Dundee, he was joined by young Labour activist Stella Rooney, who said she felt “so lucky that for once my vote will actually count for something” and introduced Mr Corbyn as “the next prime minister and absolute legend.”

But he was heckled there and in Linlithgow on the subject of Scottish independence. A pro-independence heckler was removed from Mr Corbyn’s speech in Dundee, while a woman in Linlithgow accused him of being “arm in arm” with Nicola Sturgeon. 

Mr Corbyn approached the woman and told her: “I don’t want another referendum either.”

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