Theresa May axes Go Home vans, admitting they failed
Only one man was persuaded to go home by Tory campaign: when will Fleet Street's finest find him?
HOME SECRETARY Theresa May has told the Daily Mail that she is axeing the controversial poster campaign that involved vans carrying the message to illegal immigrants to 'Go Home' touring areas of London with high immigrant populations.
The crass idea was denounced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and May was widely condemned for crude 'dog whistle' politics in a bid to stop the right-wing Ukip stealing support from the Conservatives.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper accused the Tories of using the "language of the National Front" and the project was even attacked by Ukip.
Now the Home Secretary has told the Daily Mail the van campaign is being axed because it has been ineffective. Only one man, a Pakistani, was persuaded to go home by the Tory campaign, the Daily Mail reports today.
The paper doesn't name him but it can only be a matter of time before the sleuths of Fleet Street catch up with the man and find out why he left when no-one else did.
May's announcement has been timed to coincide with the Second Reading debate in Parliament today on the new Immigration Bill which will require landlords and GPs to check on the status of immigrants.
Cooper was planning to attack the government for "resorting to ineffective and offensive ad vans, gimmicks or incorrect text messages to people who have lived here for 30 years".
May has shot her fox, but it won't stop Cooper trying to attack the Tories over immigration. Labour are tabling amendments to the Immigration Bill to impose tougher curbs on employers to stop them exploiting cheap labour from abroad.
The Bill will make temporary residents, such as students, pay towards care provided by the NHS, introduce powers to stop illegal immigrants getting driving licence and cut the number of deportation decisions that can be appealed against from 17 to four.
Labour's problem is that they want to show they are on the side of the voters - including ethnic minorities settled in Britain - who want to see something done to stop more uncontrolled immigration especially from Eastern European EU accession countries such as Bulgaria and Romania.
The immediate battle however is over the thousands of people who are being turned into immigration officers by the Bill - the landlords and the GPs who are now expected to check on the immigration status of their clients and patients.
The BMA flatly oppose GPs being asked to check on "health tourism".
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Radio 4's Today programme this morning that the measures could save £500 million a year.
But Dr Chaand Nagpaul of the BMA told Today: "These figures are quite unreliable, the authors themselves say the estimates are uncertain."
Theresa May has put the dog whistle away - but for how long? ·