We’re pleased to report that last night (10 Jan) Lewisham Deptford CLP voted by a large majority to send the following motion to London Labour regional conference. The motion was written by local migrant rights campaigners and tackles hostile environment and barbaric anti-migrant “no recourse to public funds” measures in local government. The same motion has also been proposed to Bethnal Green & Bow CLP by that constituency’s Women’s Forum – the vote in their GC meeting is next week.
If you’re a London Labour member, please contact your delegates and urge them to support it. And if you’re in another region, consider proposing something similar to your regional conference or local party – Labour councils must take a stand! Please let us know if you’re proposing a motion, and feel free to get in touch with questions or requests for help drafting policy: reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about our other work against NRPF policies and how they deny school meals to children in need, here.
NRPF (No Recourse to Public Funds) is a condition applied to most migrants, ensuring exclusion from welfare benefits. However, migrant families may present to their Council seeking help under Section 17 of the Children Act, to protect their children from destitution. This support is provided from Council budgets.
Incentivised by austerity, many London councils are neglecting their legal duty, prioritising gatekeeping over children’s safety, and leaving migrant families with young children street homeless. Antagonistic practices including embedding On-Site Immigration Officers within the council deter migrants from claiming support. This practice of embedding OSIO’s in local councils was designed by the Hostile Environment Working Group to increase Data harvesting opportunities with local authorities.
Eight of the nine councils with OSIO’s are London boroughs with a Labour majority.
For decades, Labour has failed to challenge right-wing anti-migrant narratives, allowing a culture of division and scapegoating to pervade UK politics. The appropriate response to brutal Tory cuts is to put a spotlight on the government responsible, not withdraw support from society’s most vulnerable.
We call on Labour-run London councils to: