The BBC story is here. The Tory-led Government approved a scheme where vans carrying billboards stating to illegal immigrants "Go Home" would drive through specific areas of London -- affecting communities with a high ethnic minority population. The vans advertised a number that an illegal immigrant could text message to learn how to return to his or her home country.
The advertisement has been highly controversial since its launch. The Liberal Democrats - coalition partners of the Tories - have declared their strong opposition. The Labour Party and other groups, including UKIP, are opposed to these vans as well. Their use has been described as divisive, offensive and irresponsible.
The Home Office continues to claim the vans have "worked" and it continues to refuse to provide any evidence to support (or deny) this claim. It might appear that the Home Office is stating what it hopes will prove true...and waiting for any confirmation that it could announce later to show it was true all along.
This affair continues to prove highly embarrassing for the Government, especially for its Liberal Democrat partners. This effort to win over UKIP voters seems not to have done this and actually undermine support for the Tories in tackling immigration.
More damaging is that it perpetuates an image -- the Tories as the nasty party -- that PM Cameron has been so desperate to bury.
The only winners appear to be UKIP: these vans have kept immigration issues in the news and now UKIP can claim to be less nasty and offensive than the Tories (insofar as UKIP has opposed the use of these vans).
Sounds like the Tories could do with much better advice.