Labour HQ has warned its MPs not to linger on the subject of immigration. Photo: Getty
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A leaked document reveals Labour MPs have been told not to campaign on immigration

"Moving the conversation on".

A leaked document sent by Labour HQ round to some MPs and party activists reveals what we already know: talking about immigration is damaging to Labour's electoral chances.

The strategy document, called "Campaigning against Ukip", revealed by the Telegraphtells MPs that they should avoid campaigning on the subject of immigration and when voters express their concerns about it, they should focus on "moving the conversation on issues where we have clear policy" to other subjects.

MPs are also warned by the party not to send out leaflets about immigration to all voters because it could be an "unhelpful" strategy. The document acknowledges that many voters will cite the topic as a concern, but: "It does not however follow that campaigning on immigration issues and emphasising our policies in our conversations with electors is always the correct response."

This exposure of Labour's stance on immigration is embarrassing for Ed Miliband, on the morning of his big speech on immigration. It appears he's addressing this subject in the same way he approached the deficit last week: a big speech to clear up Labour's policy and to stop critics charging the party with not talking about the issue. However, just as talking about the deficit plays on the Tories' turf, talking about immigration only ever strengthens Ukip. In the document, Labour seems all too aware of this:

While it is clear that UKIP’s campaign is largely concentrated on the issue of immigration, we cannot and should not fight the UKIP threat simply on their terms, not least because we will not win a bidding war on the issue. Although immigration is an important issue for many electors, and is often mentioned on the doorstep, it is often used as a means to express other concerns. Many of these issues, including healthcare, housing, and the delivery of other local services, are among the strongest policy areas for the Labour Party. 

Although it is never helpful for a party to have its tactics out in the open, this stance on addressing immigration concerns is more wise than embarrassing. Not only is it politically useful for Labour to broaden the immigration question out to issues of housing and public services, it is also more truthful to the voter to do so.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

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Katy Perry just saved the Brits with a parody of Donald Trump and Theresa May

Our sincerest thanks to the pop star for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to a very boring awards show.

Now, your mole cannot claim to be an expert on the cutting edge of culture, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2017, it’s that the Brit Awards are more old hat than my press cap. 

Repeatedly excluding the genres and artists that make British music genuinely innovative, the Brits instead likes to spend its time rewarding such dangerous up-and-coming acts as Robbie Williams. And it’s hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Which is why the regular audience must have been genuinely baffled to see a hint of political edge entering the ceremony this year. Following an extremely #makeuthink music video released earlier this week, Katy Perry took to the stage to perform her single “Chained to the Rhythm” amongst a sea of suburban houses. Your mole, for one, doesn’t think there are enough model villages at popular award ceremonies these days.

But while Katy sang of “stumbling around like a wasted zombie”, and her house-clad dancers fell off the edge of the stage, two enormous skeleton puppets entered the performance in... familiar outfits.

As our Prime Minister likes to ask, remind you of anyone?

How about now?

Wow. Satire.

The mole would like to extend its sincerest lukewarm thanks to Katy Perry for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to one of the most vanilla, status-quo-preserving awards ceremonies in existence. 

I'm a mole, innit.