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Controversy over Labour MP's call for more British hotel staff

23 April 2013 by
Controversy over Labour MP's call for more British hotel staff

Labour shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant has sparked controversy by saying it "would be nice" to go into a hotel in this country which had a British receptionist.

The senior frontbencher said he was "angry" at employers for failing to train and employ Brits, relying instead on people from Latvia and Estonia.

The comments came during a debate on BBC2's Newsnight on the impact of immigration in the UK, ahead of limits being lifted next year on the number of people from Bulgaria and Romania who can settle elsewhere in the European Union, reported the Daily Mail.

Bryant, the MP for Rhondda in south Wales, said: "I have very high levels of youth unemployment in my constituency; it has risen by some 200% in the last year.

"I do get quite angry with some British employers, who've decided not to bother train British youngsters to work in the hospitality industry or the construction industry.

"It would be nice sometimes when you go into a British hotel if the receptionist was British.

"We need to give our young people the skills and the opportunities to get those jobs. There is a hotel in my constituency and quite often it's not been able to employ locally. It has ended up employing people from Estonia and Latvia, often people from Estonia and Latvia have so much get up and go they've got up and gone."

Tory MPs described the comments as a cynical attempt to grab headlines. Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi said: "Chris Bryant's choice of words are irresponsible and unwise.

"His comments demonstrate how confused Labour are over the issue of immigration. Labour have gone from an "open door" policy leaving the country to cope with two million migrants, to cynically peddling xenophobic rhetoric."

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