David Cameron and other senior British politicians will be condemned today by a senior European Union official for “pandering” to xenophobia with their rhetoric on immigration.
Laszlo Andor, the Employment Commissioner, who has previously attacked the Government for its “nasty” curbs on benefits for foreign nationals, will step up his attack during a visit to Britain.
He will accuse politicians of avoiding the “inconvenient truth” that most migrants move for work and are an “asset” to economies like Britain’s with an ageing population.
Mr Andor will warn the Prime Minister he cannot base policy on “perceptions, gut feelings or anecdotes”.
In a speech in Bristol, he will say: “Politicians should be responsible enough to talk about facts, rather than to pander to prejudice, or in the worst cases, xenophobia.”
The Tory chairman, Grant Shapps, retorted last night: “Why Mr Andor thinks it’s his job to criticise the government’s actions to get a grip of our borders is beyond me.
“Rather than resort to nasty insults and cheap political jibes he should support the difficult long term decisions we’re taking to support hardworking families and stop abuse of our public services.”
And a source close to Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “Once again the European Commission is showing how completely out of touch it is.”