He said: “I want a high wage British economy, not a low wage brutish economy. We’ve got plans to make that happen, to drive up skills. “So we are going to say to any firm that wants to bring in a foreign worker that they also have to train up someone who is a local worker, training up the next generation. “We think that can create up to 125,000 new apprenticeships over the course of five years and that is a massive boost for skills for our young people.” Mr Miliband said the tenfold increase in fines for the minimum wage would “stop the exploitation which undercuts workers that are already here”. Senior party figures spoke out on Sunday morning to back up Mr Miliband’s pledges. Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna told Sky News the proposal aimed to deal with the reason why large companies employed people from abroad. He said: “(Large companies) say that there are skills gaps and we do not have enough people with the skills they need. “What we are saying is that if they are bringing people in (from abroad), they also ensure that we are skilling people (with) the provision of training apprenticeships.” Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, sought to explain how the policy would work, adding: “Already, if people want to bring in what’s called the tier-two worker from abroad, they have to meet certain conditions. Mr McBride (far left) with Gordon Brown “We don’t think it’s good for the long term health of our economy for companies to be reliant on bringing in skilled workers always from abroad and not supporting investment in skills and training we need to have at home.” On Sunday morning, Mr Miliband told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he urged Mr Brown to sack Mr McBride over concerns the spin doctor was briefing against senior Labour colleagues. Mr McBride’s memoirs are being serialised in the Daily Mail. On voting intentions Labour’s lead over the Tories is barely changed, at eight points: Con 28% (0), Lab 36% (-1), UKIP 17% (-2), LD 10% (+2) and Others 9% (+1).
UK clears Zanu PF political activities
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party free to set up structures in UK Take Mugabe ‘with pinch of salt’: UK ZANU PF has assured its supporters in the United Kingdom that athey donat need to operate under the radara after assurances from the British government that they will not be targeted. An interim Zanu PF executive in the United Kingdom led by Nick Mangwana claims aa lot of cadres were persecuted in machinations led by their own regime change countrymen who campaigned for their deportation and expulsion.a aThose in public service jobs nearly lost them, and some lost them. Those in academic research had grants and funding withdrawn,a Mangwana said on Sunday. But after engagement with the UK Foreign Office, Mangwana said they now had written reassurances that they can hold public meetings and canvass without being targeted. He explained: aAssurances were initially given verbally but at our insistence for written assurances, details of the leadership were sought. It was only then that the policy statement was sent to the chairman of the steering committee assuring that the British government has no problem with Zanu PF operating from the heartland of Europe. aAfter many years of threats, covert and overt retributive actions against people who were perceived to be Zanu PF supporters and cadres, the British government has now given its assurance for their protection.a In a letter to the Zanu PF interim executive, Mark Simmonds, Britainas Minister for Africa, said: aYou asked whether there would be any objections to Zanu PF activity here in the UK. AThere would be no bar on your activities here in the UK, providing they do not contravene UK law, as is the case for any political party.a Simmonds further asked the Zanu PF executive to meet with Richard Croker, the Head of the Zimbabwe Unit at the Foreign Officeas Africa Department Central ato discuss the issues you have raiseda. Mangwana said: aThe steering committee wishes to extend this assurance to cadres that they donat need to operate under the radar. It’s okay to join the very fashionable Zanu PF UK openly.a Relations between the Zanu PF-led Zimbabwe government and former colonial power Britain remain frosty. Mugabe and nine other officials remain on European Union sanctions which he says were instigated by Britain which was angry with his land reform policy, but the UK accuses Mugabe of election fraud and rights abuses.