Diane Abbott: Labour's 'controls on immigration' mugs are shameful

Labour MP boils with anger over mugs being sold on party’s online store, and questions election promise to limit immigration in first place

Labour has faced criticism for selling a branded mug that boasts of the party’s plans to control immigration.

The red mug reads “controls on immigration” above the words “I’m voting Labour on 7 May”, and is on sale for £5 through its online merchandise store.

Diane Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and a former Labour leadership hopeful, tweeted a picture of the mug on Sunday afternoon with the words: “This shameful mug is an embarrassment. But the real problem is that immigration controls are one of our five pledges at all.”

This shameful mug is an embarrassment. But real problem is that immigration controls are one of our 5 pledges at all pic.twitter.com/4xslD22Gcm

— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) March 29, 2015

Her tweet prompted a barrage of criticism against Labour on Twitter, with the Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert writing: “Wow. The stories are true. Labour have actually produced a campaign mug championing ‘Controls on immigration’.”

Wow. The stories are true. Labour have actually produced a campaign mug championing 'Controls on immigration' https://t.co/nDDB7AihVH #fb

— Julian Huppert (@julianhuppert) March 28, 2015

The mug is one of a set of five, each of which represents a key Labour election pledge on the economy, tuition fees, the NHS, energy bills and immigration. A spokesperson for Labour insisted it had no plans to stop selling the mug and said: “Labour has five election pledges. This is one of the election pledges.”

The mug, sold in the category of campaign essentials, does not appear to have sold well, with 262 still in stock on Sunday evening. There were 406 available of the mug reading “A strong economic foundation”.

“Fancy a brew in my ‘Controls for immigration mug’?”. Seriously, Labour. Scrap your Farage wannabe mugs and give people some bloody hope

— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) March 28, 2015

Labour has pledged to extend the period that EU jobseekers have to wait before claiming out-of-work benefits from three months to at least two years.

The party has also said it would limit in-work benefits paid to EU migrants to tackle undercutting by employers who rely on low-skilled migrant labour, and that it would stop child benefit and child tax credits being claimed for children living in other countries.


Frances Perraudin

The GuardianTramp

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