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Ex-parliamentary candidate urges immigration reform

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Jonny Roberts addressed the Labour Conference last month

Jonny Roberts – Labour’s 2015 Parliamentary candidate for Newbury – spoke at the party’s conference in Brighton last month.

Mr Roberts addressed Labour representatives from across the UK on September 25 and urged members to support a free movement motion. He arrived as part of a delegation comprising three members from the local party.

The motion in question commits the Labour Party to extensive immigration reform and was passed by a hefty margin.

Mr Roberts said: “This motion has some incredible things inside it. It has the ending of detention centres – all detention centres – all of the hostile environment. It has the ending of the inability to go to recourse to public funds for asylum seekers.

“And it allows asylum seekers to work, ending that ludicrous situation.”

Mr Roberts made no secret of the personal implications of the motion. He highlighted proposals to grant voting rights to residents who presently lack British citizenship, using the example of his Venezuelan-born wife.

He said: “She’s lived here for 16 years. She has worked here, she has studied, she’s given birth to two children here, got married here, but she cannot vote.

“So I feel like I’m talking for her – who I ditched for four days to come to conference – but I’m also talking for the millions like her in our society who are a vital part of our society, but have no democratic voice.”

Newbury Labour member Michael Wakelyn-Green’s drug decriminalisation motion was also received positively by the conference.

Mr Wakelyn-Green has been appointed the South East ambassador for the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform.

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