Immigration is major issue

Labour's Tony Wright, who has been Great Yarmouth's MP for 13 years, said after 10 days of campaigning, immigration had emerged as a significant issue on the doorstep.

Labour's Tony Wright, who has been Great Yarmouth's MP for 13 years, said after 10 days of campaigning, immigration had emerged as a significant issue on the doorstep.

But he said he was happy to defend his party's policy, pointing out that there had been a dip in migration from EU nations - largely Portugal and East European countries - with many families returning to their homelands.

And Mr Wright said he had also been pointing out that many Yarmouth people were economic migrants themselves, working all around the world in the oil and gas industry.

Other issues of concern voiced by residents included poor quality housing, unemployment and the MPs' expenses row.


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Mr Wright said the key message he was trying to convey to people was that the health of the economy was of paramount importance and the Tories' strategy of immediate cuts might endanger a double dip recession.

That would impact on Yarmouth - traditionally vulnerable to unemployment - more severely than many other areas.

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Tory candidate Brandon Lewis confirmed people's concern over immigration, but said his party's stated intention to reform the benefits system would naturally fill vacancies with British people and reduce the need for companies to recruit overseas.

Their policy would be to cut the benefits of people who were fit to work and chose not to after being offered a job. However, benefits would also be adjusted so people would not be better off staying at home.

Mr Lewis said he had encountered a very strong desire on the doorstep for change.

'They want something different and seem to be connecting with David Cameron's plans to move power back to the people and resist the tax on jobs represented by Labour's planned National Insurance rise,' he said.

The Lib Dem's Simon Partridge said his campaign was gathering momentum. In the villages a lot of traditional Labour voters had said they would not be voting Labour this time and Tory supporters were 'wavering big time'.

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