23/12/2013 04:02 GMT

Tory MP Attacks Attacks Vince Cable's 'Unacceptable' Immigration Comments

David Cheskin/PA Wire
Vince Cable gives a speech after a debate on economy at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow.

Vince Cable's comparison of the Conservatives to Enoch Powell is unacceptable and shows how completely out of touch he is with Britons, a Tory MP has said.

Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills criticised the Liberal Democrat minister for "effectively" comparing his coalition partners to the controversial Tory right-winger and his "rivers of blood" speech on immigration.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mills, who is a member of the Immigration Bill Committee, said: "This is unacceptable." Cable's comments, he said, made "it very hard to sit around the Cabinet table".

Asked whether he thought Mr Cable should be made to leave Cabinet because of his outspoken views, Mills said: "That's a decision above my pay grade, but it's a particularly strange way to work with partners.

"I think Mr Cable has always had a rather creative interpretation of what collective responsibility ought to look like.

"These comments, coming on the back of I would say some completely sensible policy announcements by the Prime Minister to restrict welfare to people who are newly arrived here, can't claim until they've paid in, I mean it just looks completely out of touch with the sentiments of most British people.

"I thought Cable should have gone over his ridiculous remarks a couple of years ago, so I'm not going to change my mind now."

He added that comparing his Tory colleagues to Enoch Powell was "a ridiculous thing to have done".