Scottish Greens Conference: Patrick Harvie accuses Labour of ‘threatening to go further’ on hostile environment
Members of the Scottish Green Party are meeting in Dundee this weekend for their autumn conference. This morning, attendees heard a series of keynote speeches from the party’s MSPs. Among those speaking was Patrick Harvie, the Greens’ co-leader and Scottish Government minister for zero carbon Buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights.
Harvie spoke at length about the current state of politics in Scotland and the rest of the UK, emphasising the successes he feels the Greens have delivered since entering government a year ago. In particular, he spoke about the work that he has done as a government minister on tenants’ rights and to deliver a ‘new deal for tenants’.
One of the most notable moments of his speech came when he laid into the Labour Party and its stance on migration. Addressing the conference, he said, “But just as we were trying to create a welcoming Scotland , where people literally opened their doors and their homes to those seeking refuge, we ran up against the hostile environment created by the UK’s Home Office. And make no mistake, this cruel and racist environment will not change, regardless of who occupies number 10. The Tories and Labour are locked in a race to the bottom in their Farage-inspired, post-Brexit fantasy.”
He went on to accuse the Labour Party under Keir Starmer of threatening to take intensify the ‘hostile environment’ policy on migration. Harvie told the conference, “We’ve got a Home Secretary who describes putting vulnerable asylum seekers on a plane to Rwanda as ‘her dream’ and ‘her obsession’. And Labour’s response? Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves urging the Tories to ‘get a grip’ and claiming that a lack of deportations is ’12 years of Tory failure’.
“Now of course everyone in this room and millions more like us want to see the back of the Tory Government. But we refuse to accept that we can do no better than the prospect in the next few years of a Labour government who will not only fail to overturn that Tory hostile environment, but are threatening to go even further.”
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