LONDON PRAYER TIME DAWN: 05:22 SUNRISE: 06:54 ZOHR:: 12:14 MAGHRIB: 17:49
British Speaker rapped for immigration remarks
Britain’s House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has bought himself harsh criticism for suggesting eastern European immigrants have more "aptitude and commitment" to work than Britons.
During an official visit to Romania last week, Bercow was asked about the lifting of immigration restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians in 2014.
He answered certain restrictions would remain in place but stressed that critics of Eastern European immigrants had used a "bellicose and strident tone" in their criticism as immigrants had "great advantages".
"There has been an important wave of immigrants that came to Great Britain from new member states and in many cases they came with aptitudes and a commitment, an involvement we haven't always seen in our labour force," he added.
His remarks have outraged the anti-Europe UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage who said it was unacceptable to “comment on matters that are both highly political and deeply contentious”.
Farage also branded Bercow a “disgrace” to the office of Speaker.
This comes as Conservative MP Philip Hollobone challenged Farage saying Bercow made the remarks while answering Romanian MPs questions, which is “absolutely right”.
Ministers say they will introduce a series of measures to limit the scale of immigration from Romania and Bulgaria after the current controls are lifted in the New Year, including restrictions on rights of incomers to claim benefits and use the NHS or other public services.