Starmer’s speech on refugees

Dave Levy
2 min readMay 12, 2024

A little essay on Natalie Elphick’s defection to Labour and Starmer’s speech in Dover on refugee policy.

Dover, by Tom Rogers from Unsplash, cropped

Over the last couple of days of the week, the Labour Party stage managed the defection of Natalie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, which allowed Starmer to visit her constituency and make his speech. The speech is reported and analysed in the Guardian, and the full text is posted by Labour List.

I had notice the speech was going to take place, although not the venue, and I and my campaigning colleagues had a fear that the policy would become worse than it currently is. However, the speech reinforced the politics of Labour’s agreed position albeit offering more detail on what an anti-gangs unit would look like.

Labour’s front bench fail to recognise that Refugees are caused by wars and not by people smuggling gangs, the speech also restated that Labour will not be looking to create safe routes for refugees. There are none today.

I summarise the speech and positions as, “No real change as far as I can see, abandon the Rwanda scheme, blame gangs not wars, no safe routes for refugees, and silence on workers and family reunification.”

On a side note, there has been much opposition within the Labour Party and PLP to accepting Elphicke within the Party, and her and Annaliese Dodds statements that there was agreement between her and the Party on immigration and refugee policy is shameful. Elphicke’s statement is also reported by Labour List.

Originally published at on May 12, 2024.



Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father - mainly writing about UK politics & IT,