Tory MP says it’s ‘not xenophobic’ to want town centres not to feel ‘foreign’

Hunt was defending Suella Braverman

Tom Hunt

In the latest example of the Tory party aping the rhetoric of the far-right, a Tory MP has suggested that UK towns are like ‘foreign countries’.

Tory MP Tom Hunt who was speaking at the Conservative Party conference on Monday told the audience that it is ‘not xenophobic’ to want town centres to not feel like a ‘foreign country’.

He said: “Being frank, it is not xenophobic for when you walk into your town centre to not want to feel like you are living in a foreign country. I don’t think that makes you a xenophobe.”

His comments came as he sought to defend Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s disgraceful claim that multiculturalism had failed, after an audience member questioned whether their language was stoking racism.

The Ipswich MP added: “When you don’t get that integration, when you have communities living parallel existences, that’s not a good thing for communities.

“It gives immigration a bad name which is not something we should accept.”

His comments were condemned online.

One social media user wrote: “I see Tom Hunt has gone to Manchester to slag off Ipswich to his mates in the Conservative Party.

“An MP should be a cheerleader for their constituency, but yet again, Hunt has embarrassed our town. Ipswich is better than him. We’ll bring people together and build a new future.”

Another wrote: “Tom Hunt is everything that my grandfather inspired me not to be. He didn’t fight in a world war to make this country insular and racist.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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