John Major praises immigrants’ determination

13 Aug 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Former prime minister John Major has praised people on UK work permits and other immigrants to the country for their determination.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 programme, Reflections, Sir John Major said that it took “guts and drive” for migrants to make the decision to travel to a new country in order to improve the lives of themselves and their families.

In a statement at odds with much of the current politicians’ discourse, he added that it is not true that all immigrants come to Britain to “benefit from our social security system”. David Cameron has recently upped his efforts to crackdown on people moving to the UK primarily to claim benefits and is working to deliver an immigration system that will “put Britain first” and make it much harder for migrants to claim benefits.

Sir John went on to describe his own experience of migrants in the UK: “There was a different social value placed on immigration [in the past]. I saw immigration at very close quarters in the 1950s.

"They shared my house. They were my neighbours. I played with them as boys. I didn't see people who had come here just to benefit from our social system. I saw people with guts and the drive to travel halfway across the world in many cases to better themselves and their families.

"And I think that is a very Conservative instinct.”