Malcolm Moss MP writes to BBC chairman in protest over Wisbech documentary
PUBLISHED: 12:30 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:33 02 June 2010
MP MALCOLM Moss has written to the chairman of the BBC, Sir Michael Lyons, protesting at bias in the Wisbech TV documentary The Day the Immigrants Left. The North East Cambs MP described the documentary – which has attract
Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
MP MALCOLM Moss has written to the chairman of the BBC, Sir Michael Lyons, protesting at bias in the Wisbech TV documentary The Day the Immigrants Left.
The North East Cambs MP described the documentary - which has attracted record responses to this website - as "jaundiced and biased" and "an insult to the majority of local Fens people".
Mr Moss said: "I became increasingly angry and frustrated watching this so-called documentary.
"It did not reflect the true situation of the Fens at all. You cannot do justice to an extremely complex issue in an hour long programme. It might make good TV but I don't think it is helpful in communicating the truth.
"The whole thrust of the programme was very misleading."
Mr Moss said the programme, which put unemployed locals into jobs normally filled by immigrants, "ignored the cost to public services of 3,000 extra people coming to a small town."
That cost was partly being taken on by schools that now have to teach migrant children, he said.
Mr Moss added that Cambridgeshire Police forked out nearly £700,000 last year in translation services.
He also said the high number of migrant workers living in multiple occupancy homes had made private sector renting unaffordable for most local people.
He said: "Communities like Wisbech and the Fens generally have to get by as best they can with no extra help.
"This is an injustice and hopefully a new Government will respond accordingly."
BBC presenter Evan Davis spent three weeks in Wisbech trying to find a handful of people on the dole willing to do jobs held by migrant workers.
He said companies shouldn't write off British workers but that many firms couldn't exist without foreign employees at present.
Asparagus farmer Victor Aveling told documentary makers that if he had to "recruit from the local area, I would not be in business".
However Mr Moss said: "The people featured in the show didn't reflect the workforce of the Fens.
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