BBC Breakfast viewers expressed their frustration at shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott appearing on the programme on Wednesday morning to discuss the new immigration bill. Some viewers claimed they turned off their TV set as soon as they noticed Ms Abbott on the screen, while others accused the Labour Party frontbencher of being unable to “answer a straight question.” Commenting on the BBC Breakfast interview on Twitter, one viewer said: “Turns on TV….DIANE ABBOTT…!!! Turns of TV……..”
Another said: “@BBCBreakfast… classic politician not answering a question #dianeabbott.”
One user echoed the feeling commenting on social media: “Watching breakfast tv interview with Diane Abbott she looks like reading a script, can’t answer a straight question.
“Needs to sort her self out before Corbyn. Corbyn never shut up saying his name so annoying.”
And one user accused Ms Abbott of “not having a clue” about the immigration bill: “Listening to Diane Abbott on the news this morning and that woman still just hasn’t got a clue.
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“Give up love to just look like a fool.”
Diane Abbott questioned the reasoning behind the new immigration bill, which would require new migrants to be able to speak English and have a job offer upon arrival. The new bill would also put the salary threshold to remain at £26,600 per year.
Ms Abbott said: “I think the problem with the Government’s new immigration policy is that they are so anxious to look as if they are cracking down on immigration that they appear not to have thought through the effects that this policy would have on the economy as a whole.
“And what message it sends to migrants already living and working here. One of the problems is the salary threshold they are talking of.”
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She added: “It’s as if they think the level of their salary determines how valuable your role is and what skills you have.
“But we know there are people in relatively low-paying occupations like social care who are skilled and valuable and the new system would keep these people out.”
Launching the new immigration proposals, Home Secretary Priti Patel insisted the new rules will not discriminate among workers seeking to come to the UK but will raise the skill and language standards for entry.
Under the new rules, EU workers will no longer be able to use their national IDs to come to the UK and will require a passport, as well as a job offer from an approved employer.
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Speaking to Sky News, Ms Patel said: “First of all, we are ending free movement which means numbers will come down because we are ending free movement from the EU.
“With that, we have a structured framework now with points based on individual skills from citizens around the world.
“This is a global immigration system. It doesn’t discriminate in terms of where you’ve come from or which country you originate from but the important bit is about the skills you can bring to the UK.”
The Home Secretary also claimed the new system will help the Conservatives on their pledge to curb immigration after repeatedly failing to deliver on the former system.
She continued: “As a result, numbers will come down that is the purpose of having a system.
“The previous system still have free movement at the centre of it because we were members of the EU.
“The point is right now for the first time in over 40 years the British Government is able to set its own immigration policy and be in control of who comes into our country.
“With that control and having control measures effectively means we can keep migration down.”
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