Humphrys' sneer at 'foreigners' unhelpful for migration debate

By Press Office
April 8, 2010

Responding to comments made by John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme during an interview with Gordon Brown, Ekklesia associate Vaughan Jones who works with displaced people in the East End of London said:

"It has to be more than regrettable that the first sour note of the election campaign in relation to immigration came from the BBC. John Humphrys caused offence at his sneering tone as he said the word 'foreigner'.

"We are hoping for an intelligent and informed debate on the issues. They are complex which means that statistics need handling with a great deal of care.

"Newcomers to the UK have not only worked and paid taxes, they have also created jobs. The need for migrant workers varies at different points in an economic cycle but they have been very much needed especially in the boom years before the recent economic crisis.

"We should not forget, even in lean years, that they are people who work hard, maintain essential services and undertake unpopular work with anti-social hours. Just to disparage them as 'foreigners' is not only cheap, lazy journalism, unworthy of the BBC, it displays an ignorance of the importance of migrant labour."

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