Ed Miliband says immigration still on agenda

Image caption Ed Miliband speaking at the Labour Party conference

Ed Miliband says dealing with voter concern about immigration is a priority for Labour, despite not mentioning the issue in his keynote conference speech.

The Labour leader faced widespread criticism after he "forgot" to mention the deficit and immigration in his speech to the party faithful in Manchester, which was delivered without the help of an autocue.

As Labour gathered for its annual conference, I headed out onto the streets of Grimsby to ask voters what issues concerned them.

Many people complained about a lack of low paid jobs and some claimed that too many vacancies in the town were being filled by migrant workers.

Pat, who described herself as a "retired lady", asked the question: "I want to know if Mr Miliband will cut the number of immigrants coming to our country?"

In an interview for BBC Look North, Ed Miliband responded: "We want to get low skilled migration down and one way we will do that is by clamping down on employers who fail to pay the minimum wage."

The Labour leader suggested that in some cases British-born workers were seeing their wages undercut by migrants who were willing to work for less than the national minimum wage.

Causing issues

I pressed Ed Miliband on whether he wanted to see fewer migrants coming to work in towns like Grimsby.

Mr Miliband said: "We do want to see fewer low skilled migrants, because that is causing issues in our community."

The Labour leader has previously said his party "got it wrong" on immigration when it was in government.

Labour will defend one of its smallest majorities in the Great Grimsby constituency at the General Election.

In 2010 veteran Euro-sceptic MP Austin Mitchell was elected with majority of 714 over the Conservatives.

Mr Mitchell will step down in 2015 after a career in parliament lasting 38 years.

Great Grimsby is also high on UKIP's list of target seats, after Nigel Farage's party performed well in the area in the 2014 local elections.