Former minister Vince Cable says reports showing the influx of EU workers had minimal impact on pay were suppressed

The impact of immigration has been a running sore inside government ever since Tony Blair waived the right in 2004 to restrict access to workers from 10 new members of the European Union.

Self-employed builders were the first to complain. They argued that rates of pay in the construction industry plummeted in the years that followed and failed to recover after the 2008 crash in line with other industrial sectors. Across other sectors where migrant labour made a big impact, such as agriculture and the care industry, many workers took the same view.

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