Immigration will not be the deciding factor in who wins the general election according to the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central.
Tristram Hunt was responding to a speech made by Prime Minister David Cameron, during a visit to the JCB plant in Rocester.
He outlined his proposals to reduce immigration, including stopping EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits, removing migrants from the UK after six months if they have not found work and stopping people from new EU countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria, from working in the UK until their economies have “converged more closely.”
Mr Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Immigration is a big issue but I think people will be voting according to party policies to do with the security of the NHS, which party can provide a successful economy that benefits all people amongst other policies and the quality of education, not just immigration.
“Stoke has always been a place where immigration has been strong, for example in the 1950s and 1960s lots of people came over from the sub-Indian continent to work in warehouses and factories in and around Stoke-on-Trent.
“This has continued throughout the years, with the sprouting of many local businesses in and around the city.
“The success of immigration in Stoke-on-Trent is here for all to see.”
The last recorded population count for Stoke-on-Trent was 249,000 – the highest recorded since 1991 and the amount of university students living in the city has increased from 8,000 before the turn of the millennium to 15,000 in 2014, with a higher percentage coming from abroad.
Mr Hunt said he believes it is unfair for international students to be included in immigration statistics.
He said: “We should remove international students from the net migration figures.
“They come here to a get a successful education and they should be valued for this.”