‘Jezza’s children remain’ Corbynista MP slammed after calling for free movement for all

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Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, took to Twitter to voice her opposition to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s new Nationality and Borders Bill. The Bill passed through the House of Commons earlier in December, but attracted significant controversy as it was handed to the House of Lords.

Ministers supporting the bill said it was designed to discourage illegal migration to the UK, and includes provisions for the UK to send asylum seekers to a “safe third country”.

It will also enhance the powers of the Border Force to turn migrants away from UK shores before they arrive, making it illegal to arrive in the UK knowingly without permission.

The maximum prison term for those who do so will go up to four years – up from the current sentence of six months.

Ms Patel said the Bill would confront the “underlying pull factors into the UK’s asylum system”.

However, Ms Whittome – the UK’s youngest MP and part of the Socialist Campaign Group – condemned the Bill over the Christmas period via social media.

She posted: “As Ministers spent Christmas Day in the comfort of their homes, they told 67 people trying to cross the Channel they’re not welcome.

“The Borders Bill is the govt doubling down on political choices that have already cost lives. It will be a death sentence for future refugees.”

She added: “To stop people dying in the Channel, we must completely reimagine our immigration system.

“The status quo is free movement for the rich only.

“FM [free movement] for all would not only benefit the person moving, it would reduce exploitation by criminal gangs and employers, benefitting everyone.”

She continued in a Twitter thread: “Most people are fundamentally decent but Farage, Patel + co. have conned us that migrants threaten our living standards.

“There’s enough to go around. We’re the 6th richest nation but £ is in the hands of people who don’t care about the working class, whether from Stoke or Syria.”

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Ms Whittome’s comments attracted immediate backlash from the Westminister gossip column in The Spectator, Steerpike, which took her post as a sign that “the Corbyn era may be over but Jezza’s children remain, still sitting in the Commons”.

The column continued to poke holes in her comments, questioning the popularity of her opinions on free movement in areas that she mentioned, such as Stoke.

They added: “Given the 2016 vote to leave the European bloc and its system of free movement, Steerpike looks forward to Whittome heading to Stoke and similar Brexit-backing areas to see how such a policy does go down on the doorstep.

“Good to see that Britain’s youngest MP is really putting the work in to justify her title as ‘Baby of the House.’”

The MP was nicknamed “baby of the house” after she gained her seat in the 2019 elections aged just 23.

Ms Whittome told The Guardian earlier this year her anti-Brexit stance was borne from a belief that, “since its inception, [it] was waged by the rightwing establishment as an attack on workers’ rights and migrants’ rights.

“I don’t see these as two separate things.”

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