HC Deb 01 May 1984 vol 59 c177
5. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received concerning the operation of sweatshops in the city of Leicester.

Mr. Gummer

The first representations that I received on the subject were from my hon. Friends the Members for Leicester, South (Mr. Spencer) and for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels). Since then the hon. and learned Member has made representations.

Mr. Janner

Is the Minister aware that his reply to my Adjournment debate was regarded in Leicester as inadequate and useless? Unemployment in some parts of my constituency is 60 per cent. and that has led to people accepting work in unhealthy and dangerous conditions of slave labour for pay which is a disgrace? What solution, if any, can the Government offer other than vituperation in reply.

Mr. Gummer

Apart from that accusation, I know that the hon. and learned Gentleman was dissatisfied with the coverage that he received in the Leicester Mercury. That was not what the press said about these matters. I very much hope to accept my hon. Friends' invitation to visit Leicester to look for myself at the issues that have been raised by my hon. Friends. I am very sorry that the hon. and learned Gentleman did not follow his own message — that this was not a matter for party political vituperation.

Mr. Peter Bruinvels

Will my hon. Friend note that, so far as I was concerned, his statement on Wednesday was well received in Leicester. Will he confirm that all the allegations outlined in the letter to the Leicester Mercury, as well as in representaions by myself and my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Spencer), will be investigated?

Mr. Gummer

I shall see that they are investigated most carefully, and I hope that the Leicester Mercury will be able to provide me with the evidence necessary for them to be investigated. I repeat that this issue is far too important to be brought into party political argument.

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