Tory MP slammed for saying Lincolnshire has 'done its bit' for migrants during Ukraine debate

Tory MP slammed for saying Lincolnshire has 'done its bit' for migrants during Ukraine debate
Thousands of refugees pour into Poland from Ukraine daily

A Tory MP has been widely criticised after he said areas in Britain like Lincolnshire had "done our bit" in terms of helping migrants from Eastern Europe.

Sir Edward Leigh was praising Priti Patel after she announced she would further relax waiving visas for Ukrainians with family members in the UK to enter the country subject to security checks but continued to rule out an open door policy.

The decision has been criticised not least because the EU is allowing people to enter the UK without applying for asylum on a temporary basis and 37 Tory MPs including Jeremy Hunt has said the UK should do the same.

Not Leigh, though. He said:

"I think we have to remember that unlike the rest of Europe we have uniquely liberal labour laws and we speak English so we are the country of choice for mass immigration and therefore I do urge her to - as well as listen to all these humanitarian voices - to listen to the voices of people for instance in Lincolnshire where we feel we've done really our bit in terms of migration from Eastern Europe.

"We are under extreme pressure in terms of housing and jobs, I know this is difficult to say but we have to be honest about this, and may I therefore be a correcting voice in this and congratulate her on her humanitarian but proportionate response and not throwing away the immigration rulebook."

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People - including those living in Lincolnshire - criticised Leigh for his comments.

The Independent last week launched its Refugees Welcome campaign, calling on the government to set up a resettlement scheme to grant sanctuary in the UK to Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.

indy100 has dropped Leigh a line to comment on this story.

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