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We cannot forget the “Rivers of Blood” speech – so that we continue to learn from history’s mistakes

On the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of blood” speech in Birmingham, Lee Dargue, Parliamentary Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in Birmingham Ladywood, speaking on ITV’s Central Lobby, commented:

“People may not remember the name, or know the speech, but the impact is still here. We have some politicians saying roughly the same things, maybe in a slightly different language.

“There are politicians who copy his style, but when you dig under it, overt racism in Enoch Powell’s speech – against the Race Relations Act and how ‘they’ are coming and ‘we’ can’t handle it.

“We still hear that from some politicians today – we have to let them say their piece, but it’s right we also push back on it.”

Commenting further on immigration policy and its impact on the Windrush generation, Lee said:

“Liberal Democrats stopped the ‘go home’ vans when we were in government. The culture of the Home Office also has to change – they have previously asked LGBT people seeking asylum from North Africa to provide video evidence of them being gay.

“When I saw Theresa May being pressured into meeting Caribbean leaders, and then read “I am sorry” off a statement on a piece of paper – this is not acceptable.

“The Windrush generation are British people, and they deserve everything every other British person gets.”