The Conservatives should abandon their hard-line stance on immigration to win back voters who 'recoil' from the party, a Tory MP proposes today.
John Bercow, a former member of the Shadow Cabinet, launches a strong attack on the policy on which Michael Howard fought the general election and argues that migrants are good for the economy and the British people.
Writing in The Independent, Mr Bercow says that the Tory policy was 'wrong for the country and damaging to the attempted recovery of the party'. He adds that 'a more balanced approach would cause many voters, who reject the party, to think of us afresh.'
Although many senior Tories accept the need for the party to change after a third successive defeat, Mr Howard defended his hardline approach on immigration in his farewell speech to the Blackpool conference, and said the party should not be silenced on the issue.
Mr Bercow, who is supporting Kenneth Clarke in the Tory leadership race, says the party's call for an annual limit on immigration is 'bizarre' and should be dropped. …