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LIVINGSTONE JOINS IMMIGRANT-HOUSING ROW

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London mayor Ken Livingstone fiercely criticised industry minister Margaret Hodge's controversial argument that Bri...
London mayor Ken Livingstone fiercely criticised industry minister Margaret Hodge's controversial argument that British-born families should get priority for social housing over immigrants.

Margaret Hodge 'A message to my fellow immigrants'

Mr Livingstone said: 'Margaret Hodge is wrong. Far from it being the case that immigrants are jumping the housing queue, the opposite is true, with immigrants naturally finding it very much harder to find their way round a system with which they are not familiar.

'Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas (Lab) is quite right to say that the real issue is that we need a lot more affordable housing.

'Instead of making remarks which will be seen as scapegoating immigrants senior politicians like Margaret Hodge should be working to solve the real housing shortage affecting all communities.

'Margaret Hodge's suggestion that housing allocation should be based not on need but factors like length of residence would be catastrophic for community relations.

'In reality it would quite rightly be illegal to take immigration status into account in allocating housing.

'Politicians in general, and government ministers in particular, should get their facts right before making statements with the potential to do great harm to the good community relations on which the prosperity of all Londoners depends.'

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