Keir Starmer Criticised For Saying The NHS Is Recruiting 'Too Many People From Overseas'

Keir Starmer has come under fire for his stance on immigration. (Photo: Kirsty O'Connor via PA Wire/PA Images)
Keir Starmer has come under fire for his stance on immigration. (Photo: Kirsty O'Connor via PA Wire/PA Images)

Keir Starmer has come under fire for his stance on immigration. (Photo: Kirsty O'Connor via PA Wire/PA Images)

Keir Starmer has been criticised for saying the NHS is recruiting too many people from overseas.

The Labour leader said “we should be training people in this country” as he set out his plans to control immigration.

But Starmer came under fire for his comments, with SNP MP Stewart McDonald accusing him of “grubby dog-whistling”.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Starmer said: “What I would like to see is the numbers go down in some areas.

“I think we are recruiting too many people from overseas in, for example, the health service, but on the other hand if we need high-skilled people in innovation and tech to set up factories, etc, then I would encourage that, so I don’t think there’s an overall number here, some areas will need to go down, other areas will need to go up.”

At the Labour conference in Liverpool last month, the party leader unveiled plans to recruit 7,500 staff to the NHS across the UK.

Starmer added: “We should be training people in this country, of course we need some immigration but we need to train people in this country.

“What we’ve done – this is absolutely classic of this Tory government – is short-term fixes, plasters over problems, never a long-term solution and we’re going around and around in circles, every year we have a winter crisis.”

Responding to Starmer’s comments on Twitter, McDonald - the SNP’s defence spokesperson - accused the Labour leader of betraying the efforts of foreign NHS workers during the pandemic.

Danny Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, described Starmer’s comments as “pure unadulterated delusional bollocks”.

Meanwhile, the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group Momentum said Starmer was “out out of touch with the Labour party and the Labour movement”.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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