Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has criticised the Labour led local authorities in Leicester following allegations of modern day slavery taking place in the city’s textile factories.
Fashion brands Quiz and Boohoo have faced allegations of using manufacturers where staff are being offered as little as £3 an hour – despite the living wage being £8.72 for someone over the age of 25.
Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the North West Leicestershire MP said: “What we've seen is the endemic failure of all the protections across the employment laws, health and safety, the local council, the local police, the fire and that's quite a coincidence.
“I think saying that there's a blind eye being turned to it is probably being generous.
“I think the Labour Party only presides over Leicester, I've come to the conclusion that it's actually run by criminal gangs in large parts of the city - it's absolutely lawless.”
However, earlier this week, Leicester’s Labour mayor Sir Peter Soulsby argued that the powers to deal with the problem lay outside of the local authorities capacity.
He told Julia that he and others had been appealing to the central government to act on the issue for the past four years, adding: “We’re very, very up for tackling it, it is the government who have ignored our requests.”
Yesterday Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed that the Home Office has established a cross-government task force that will be on the ground in Leicester “to absolutely ask all the difficult questions of all institutions”.
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