Labour's John Denham criticised by Tory rival Royston Smith over impact of Polish immigrants on Southampton

John Denham

Royston Smith

First published in Politics

Southampton MP John Denham has come under fire after admitting Labour underestimated immigration levels when it was in power.

A former council leader said an influx of Polish workers had had a “huge” impact on the city’s public services.

Tory councillor Royston Smith said the, then, Government had refused to listen to demands for extra funding because it did not recognise the increase.

He was speaking after Mr Denham, a former minister, said the Labour government had been wrongly advised about the number of migrants who would enter the UK after new countries entered the EU.

The UK government chose to allow uncontrolled immigration from new EU states including Poland in 2004. Other EU countries put temporary restrictions in place.

Mr Denham, the MP for Southampton Itchen, said: “It became clear the estimates we had relied on were vastly wrong.

We expected 15,000 migrants and 15,000 came to Southampton.”

At its peak, Southampton was estimated to have received more than 20,000 immigrants from Eastern Europe, largely from Poland. Cllr Smith, whose party led the council from 2007 until this year, said: “What John Denham is admitting is that he knew, while he was in government, Southampton was massively underfunded."

Comments (17)

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11:52am Sat 23 Jun 12

Bagamn says...

How long do we have to listen to the rantings of Napoleon Smith? Since he lost power as Council Leader, he has turned into a very bitter little man. His outbursts are an embarrassment to himself and his party.
How long do we have to listen to the rantings of Napoleon Smith? Since he lost power as Council Leader, he has turned into a very bitter little man. His outbursts are an embarrassment to himself and his party. Bagamn
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Sat 23 Jun 12

The Watcher says...

Can someone from the local party please keep Cllr Smith in check.
.
And could the Echo please stop giving him the oxygen of publicity on every single issue affecting our great country.
.
We Conservatives should be doing our own navel gazing after the disastrous local elections in order to rectify our own failings, not bleating on about issues from years ago!
Can someone from the local party please keep Cllr Smith in check. . And could the Echo please stop giving him the oxygen of publicity on every single issue affecting our great country. . We Conservatives should be doing our own navel gazing after the disastrous local elections in order to rectify our own failings, not bleating on about issues from years ago! The Watcher
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Sat 23 Jun 12

cowley says...

well said Bagamn.
well said Bagamn. cowley
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Linesman says...

The big difference between Denham and Smith is that Denham has admitted that Labour made mistakes.
The big difference between Denham and Smith is that Denham has admitted that Labour made mistakes. Linesman
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Politically dodgy Denahm and Cllr. Smith have common denominators, both are very good at opportunist sound bites.

In fairness to both, most of whose political views I don't share, have good reputation for helping the people they represent in their case work.

Denahm was important member of the last government, which turned GB (Great Britain) into virtually BB (Bankrupt Britain) and by blowing money on his favourite projects rather than creating jobs and saving services Smith has also done the same in Southampton.

While Tories and their sugar coated fans on this site may want Denham to stay quite or disappear and Echo to ignore him and most of those who are very rightly not keen on Conservatives say the same about Smith, fact remains that Smith is Leader of opposition and Denham not only one of the senior most politician and MP locally he is also well known at national level, so they have every right to make statements on issues they may think are important, and Echo is only doing its duty by printing those.

Wish they both concentrate more in favour of saving jobs and services and in support of campaigns against cuts
Politically dodgy Denahm and Cllr. Smith have common denominators, both are very good at opportunist sound bites. In fairness to both, most of whose political views I don't share, have good reputation for helping the people they represent in their case work. Denahm was important member of the last government, which turned GB (Great Britain) into virtually BB (Bankrupt Britain) and by blowing money on his favourite projects rather than creating jobs and saving services Smith has also done the same in Southampton. While Tories and their sugar coated fans on this site may want Denham to stay quite or disappear and Echo to ignore him and most of those who are very rightly not keen on Conservatives say the same about Smith, fact remains that Smith is Leader of opposition and Denham not only one of the senior most politician and MP locally he is also well known at national level, so they have every right to make statements on issues they may think are important, and Echo is only doing its duty by printing those. Wish they both concentrate more in favour of saving jobs and services and in support of campaigns against cuts Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Sat 23 Jun 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

Hang on didn't CS use immigrant contract labour to try and undermine the Dustmans dispute, they are OK when it suits him?
Hang on didn't CS use immigrant contract labour to try and undermine the Dustmans dispute, they are OK when it suits him? OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Inform Al says...

Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Politically dodgy Denahm and Cllr. Smith have common denominators, both are very good at opportunist sound bites.

In fairness to both, most of whose political views I don't share, have good reputation for helping the people they represent in their case work.

Denahm was important member of the last government, which turned GB (Great Britain) into virtually BB (Bankrupt Britain) and by blowing money on his favourite projects rather than creating jobs and saving services Smith has also done the same in Southampton.

While Tories and their sugar coated fans on this site may want Denham to stay quite or disappear and Echo to ignore him and most of those who are very rightly not keen on Conservatives say the same about Smith, fact remains that Smith is Leader of opposition and Denham not only one of the senior most politician and MP locally he is also well known at national level, so they have every right to make statements on issues they may think are important, and Echo is only doing its duty by printing those.

Wish they both concentrate more in favour of saving jobs and services and in support of campaigns against cuts
Also in fairness to JD he was man enough to leave the Cabinet over Iraq. In that respect he is my kind of politician, ie one that can think for himself. When I can say the same about RS I will. If I'm still drawing breath that is.
[quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Politically dodgy Denahm and Cllr. Smith have common denominators, both are very good at opportunist sound bites. In fairness to both, most of whose political views I don't share, have good reputation for helping the people they represent in their case work. Denahm was important member of the last government, which turned GB (Great Britain) into virtually BB (Bankrupt Britain) and by blowing money on his favourite projects rather than creating jobs and saving services Smith has also done the same in Southampton. While Tories and their sugar coated fans on this site may want Denham to stay quite or disappear and Echo to ignore him and most of those who are very rightly not keen on Conservatives say the same about Smith, fact remains that Smith is Leader of opposition and Denham not only one of the senior most politician and MP locally he is also well known at national level, so they have every right to make statements on issues they may think are important, and Echo is only doing its duty by printing those. Wish they both concentrate more in favour of saving jobs and services and in support of campaigns against cuts[/p][/quote]Also in fairness to JD he was man enough to leave the Cabinet over Iraq. In that respect he is my kind of politician, ie one that can think for himself. When I can say the same about RS I will. If I'm still drawing breath that is. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Sat 23 Jun 12

loosehead says...

All along we've said Labour got it wrong on EU immigration & you clowns ridiculed us,
Are you all telling me that council housing & education in this city didn't suffer with a 20,000 influx with many young people not talking English & they all needed housing.
Yet Labour cut our funding by £20million when we had a Labour council in power yet you lot blamed the deficit on the new Tory council?
We now have an influx of Zimbabweans where's the money to house them?
All along we've said Labour got it wrong on EU immigration & you clowns ridiculed us, Are you all telling me that council housing & education in this city didn't suffer with a 20,000 influx with many young people not talking English & they all needed housing. Yet Labour cut our funding by £20million when we had a Labour council in power yet you lot blamed the deficit on the new Tory council? We now have an influx of Zimbabweans where's the money to house them? loosehead
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Sat 23 Jun 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

How many Zimbabweans? Got one working with us and he is OK.
How many Zimbabweans? Got one working with us and he is OK. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Shoong says...

Another legacy of Labour that will hang around like a bad smell forever.
Another legacy of Labour that will hang around like a bad smell forever. Shoong
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Sat 23 Jun 12

beiroot says...

Thet're good for the economy though!
Thet're good for the economy though! beiroot
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Sat 23 Jun 12

Inform Al says...

Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.
Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Sat 23 Jun 12

OceansofRed says...

It is a bit galling when in 2010 at the general election Denham didn't complain about Labour then.
It is a bit galling when in 2010 at the general election Denham didn't complain about Labour then. OceansofRed
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Sat 23 Jun 12

acid drop says...

Denham and smith should be put in the stocks
Denham and smith should be put in the stocks acid drop
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Sat 23 Jun 12

loosehead says...

Inform Al wrote:
Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.
I have nothing against them as I'm married to a Thai Lady!
But isn't the rules ( International) That all Asylum/Refugees seek out the nearest safe country to seek refuge & not travel thousands of miles to the safest cash cow?
Just remember I watched as Ian Smith Declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain & how all Black & White people were cheering & dancing.
then when they get what they want they come here seeking refuge?
[quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.[/p][/quote]I have nothing against them as I'm married to a Thai Lady! But isn't the rules ( International) That all Asylum/Refugees seek out the nearest safe country to seek refuge & not travel thousands of miles to the safest cash cow? Just remember I watched as Ian Smith Declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain & how all Black & White people were cheering & dancing. then when they get what they want they come here seeking refuge? loosehead
  • Score: 0

8:50am Sun 24 Jun 12

The Watcher says...

loosehead wrote:
Inform Al wrote:
Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.
I have nothing against them as I'm married to a Thai Lady!
But isn't the rules ( International) That all Asylum/Refugees seek out the nearest safe country to seek refuge & not travel thousands of miles to the safest cash cow?
Just remember I watched as Ian Smith Declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain & how all Black & White people were cheering & dancing.
then when they get what they want they come here seeking refuge?
Genuine asylum seekers are at a relatively low figure (was its lowest ever in 2006) and through the late '00s was only around 20,000 a year. Despite the Daily Mail notion of shopping around, research shows that we are not the chosen port of call as you suggest for many legitimate refugees.
.
Our true refugee/asylum stance is something we as a nation should be proud of (despite the minority of abuses and exceptions).
.
The issue of EU immigration is another debate and considering all the three main parties are pro EU, then apart from temporary transition periods we have to accept the influx of Europeans.
.
Now if Cllr Smith wants to make a point about that then he needs to take it up with DC.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.[/p][/quote]I have nothing against them as I'm married to a Thai Lady! But isn't the rules ( International) That all Asylum/Refugees seek out the nearest safe country to seek refuge & not travel thousands of miles to the safest cash cow? Just remember I watched as Ian Smith Declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain & how all Black & White people were cheering & dancing. then when they get what they want they come here seeking refuge?[/p][/quote]Genuine asylum seekers are at a relatively low figure (was its lowest ever in 2006) and through the late '00s was only around 20,000 a year. Despite the Daily Mail notion of shopping around, research shows that we are not the chosen port of call as you suggest for many legitimate refugees. . Our true refugee/asylum stance is something we as a nation should be proud of (despite the minority of abuses and exceptions). . The issue of EU immigration is another debate and considering all the three main parties are pro EU, then apart from temporary transition periods we have to accept the influx of Europeans. . Now if Cllr Smith wants to make a point about that then he needs to take it up with DC. The Watcher
  • Score: 0

11:38am Sun 24 Jun 12

loosehead says...

The Watcher wrote:
loosehead wrote:
Inform Al wrote:
Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.
I have nothing against them as I'm married to a Thai Lady!
But isn't the rules ( International) That all Asylum/Refugees seek out the nearest safe country to seek refuge & not travel thousands of miles to the safest cash cow?
Just remember I watched as Ian Smith Declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain & how all Black & White people were cheering & dancing.
then when they get what they want they come here seeking refuge?
Genuine asylum seekers are at a relatively low figure (was its lowest ever in 2006) and through the late '00s was only around 20,000 a year. Despite the Daily Mail notion of shopping around, research shows that we are not the chosen port of call as you suggest for many legitimate refugees.
.
Our true refugee/asylum stance is something we as a nation should be proud of (despite the minority of abuses and exceptions).
.
The issue of EU immigration is another debate and considering all the three main parties are pro EU, then apart from temporary transition periods we have to accept the influx of Europeans.
.
Now if Cllr Smith wants to make a point about that then he needs to take it up with DC.
So explain to me where all the Zimbabweans in council houses in Lordshill come from?
Are you saying they're all illegals?
They're taking homes from British families,
Look around you the nearest countries to us aren't goingb to claim Asylum here are they.
now look at where the bulk of Asylum seekers & illegals come from.
there are many safe havens for them but they come here why?
do the other countries give them homes? do they get a living wage from the state?
do they get free heath & free education for their children?
I doubt it very much these are the reasons they're here & no other reason.
[quote][p][bold]The Watcher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Anyone escaping from Mugabe's Zimbabwean hell hole is a genuine refugee and I'm pleased that some are allowed to stay. It's only because the country is overfull that genuine asylum seekers are being sent back to suffer despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe and Iran. Sooner we get out of the EU and stop taking their cheap labour, the better.[/p][/quote]I have nothing against them as I'm married to a Thai Lady! But isn't the rules ( International) That all Asylum/Refugees seek out the nearest safe country to seek refuge & not travel thousands of miles to the safest cash cow? Just remember I watched as Ian Smith Declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain & how all Black & White people were cheering & dancing. then when they get what they want they come here seeking refuge?[/p][/quote]Genuine asylum seekers are at a relatively low figure (was its lowest ever in 2006) and through the late '00s was only around 20,000 a year. Despite the Daily Mail notion of shopping around, research shows that we are not the chosen port of call as you suggest for many legitimate refugees. . Our true refugee/asylum stance is something we as a nation should be proud of (despite the minority of abuses and exceptions). . The issue of EU immigration is another debate and considering all the three main parties are pro EU, then apart from temporary transition periods we have to accept the influx of Europeans. . Now if Cllr Smith wants to make a point about that then he needs to take it up with DC.[/p][/quote]So explain to me where all the Zimbabweans in council houses in Lordshill come from? Are you saying they're all illegals? They're taking homes from British families, Look around you the nearest countries to us aren't goingb to claim Asylum here are they. now look at where the bulk of Asylum seekers & illegals come from. there are many safe havens for them but they come here why? do the other countries give them homes? do they get a living wage from the state? do they get free heath & free education for their children? I doubt it very much these are the reasons they're here & no other reason. loosehead
  • Score: 0

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