Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat goes head-to-head with Theresa May on immigration

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, let rip in a coded assault on the PM

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, let rip in a coded assault on the PM

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, let rip in a coded assault on the PM

A powerful Tory backbencher and future leadership contender last night set himself on a collision course with Theresa May over her hardline stance on immigration.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, let rip in a coded assault on the PM at the spring gathering of the party’s grassroots officials.

In a plea not to clamp down on Britain’s borders after Brexit, he said the UK must be ‘more open’ in order to attract the brightest immigrants. 

In a withering attack, he said: ‘I was struck when in India recently, when I heard time and again that some of the best students weren’t coming to Britain.

‘They were going to Australia and New Zealand, to the United States and Canada to study there… because their countries are open. 

‘They are more engaged, more willing to accept students from around the world. Instead of looking open, too often we have been closed.

‘If we are going to play our part in the world, we need to change that.’

His rebuke comes after one of the three MPs to quit the Conservative Party last week claimed that Mrs May’s desire to end freedom of movement from Europe was a key reason behind why they left.

Anna Soubry said she was ‘really worried’ that the Prime Minister has a ‘problem with immigration’.

The future leadership contender last night set himself on a collision course with Theresa May over her hardline stance on immigration

The future leadership contender last night set himself on a collision course with Theresa May over her hardline stance on immigration

The future leadership contender last night set himself on a collision course with Theresa May over her hardline stance on immigration

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