What the papers say: Politicians take flak over Hughes

Reporting of events around immigration minister Beverley Hughes’s resignation did the media proud. Far from deteriorating into xenophobia, the overall coverage honed in on more heavyweight targets: Hughes, Home Secretary David Blunkett and Tony Blair.

Negative messages about immigrants were scarce, while plenty of broadsheets emphasised the importance of Eastern bloc migrants to the UK. ‘This country needs the workers that Eastern

Europe has to offer in droves if Britain is to retain its position in the global economy,’ noted The Sunday Telegraph (4 April).

The real opprobrium was reserved for the politicians; for Hughes who, despite her efforts, was claimed to have been incompetent and economic with the truth; Blunkett, whose job was deemed to be on the line; and further up the ranks, Blair, who was perceived as ruthless with ministers who had let him down, but out of control on a key election issue.

With the Tories set to make hay while trust in the Government is at an all-time low, Blair’s vow to take a closer interest in immigration may be too little, too late.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.



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