Labour adviser faces UK work permit investigation

30 Jan 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Labour has been forced to defend itself after Tory ministers launched a tirade of questions at the party regarding to the UK immigration status of US campaign adviser, Arnie Graf.

Arnie Graf is a veteran community organiser who has experience on a number of campaigns, particularly in grassroots areas. However, the legitimacy of his UK visa has been called into question after Tory party members claimed that he is being paid for work in the country without having the required UK work permit.

The adviser has a business visa so his presence in the country is legitimate but it's not clear whether or not his paperwork allows him to receive a salary. As a result, Tory backbencher Priti Patel has written the UK Border Agency to request than an investigation is carried out.

A Labour Party spokesperson defended Graf and his position in relation to the party: “Arnie Graf has a visa which allows him to enter the UK for permitted business activities. These activities have been fully disclosed to the UK immigration authorities when obtaining the visa.

“He is not employed by the Labour Party but advises us on campaigns and we reimburse him for lost earnings and expenses.”

Speaking to The Sun, Patel added that Labour “must declare their full financial relationship with Graf” to clarify his immigration status for the sake of voters. She added: “Business visas are about those who come to Britain and contribute on economic grounds. If there has been any misrepresentation, the Home Office should look into it urgently.”