100 Images of Migration gallery

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Demonstration against new immigration rules, Trafalgar Square, 1979

© Alan Denny

The Thatcher government announced it was changing the immigration rules so that Commonwealth dependants would find it even harder still to enter Britain. People were outraged and in November 1979 thousands came from all over the UK to protest in London. In parliament the Tory MP Tony Marlow shamefully claimed that racism amongst British people was a ‘natural’ instinct. Tory politicians talked openly of repatriating immigrants. The Tories ignored the protests and the new immigration rules came into force in December 1979.