A DORSET MP said many politicians will feel a "little echo of guilt" over public rhetoric on immigration.

Simon Hoare, who represents North Dorset for the Conservative party, spoke during a Commons Opposition Debate on the Windrush generation this week.

The backbencher said: "I think it is something which at the backs of all of our minds, on this side of the House and indeed in the opposition party, there is probably a little echo of guilt.

"Whether it was Ukip, whether it was the BNP, whether it was some of the more excessive narrative of our tabloid press on this issue, where the issues of asylum and refugee, of illegal and legal, just got conflated into them and us, foreign and different, alien and domestic.

"All of us, looking to our political bases, became anxious about seeing support nibbled away, and instead of making the positive, liberal case for the contribution that immigrants to our country make, we slightly ran away from standing up at those uncomfortable conversations on the doorstep.

"And all of us, all of us, probably wish that we'd been a little bit more robust in making the positive case."

During the same debate, former Tory minister Anna Soubry argued that "for too long, we've shovelled it away and not talked about it" as she outlined the positive benefits of immigration.

She urged discretion and common sense to ensure a fair immigration system, adding: "Some good has come out of this terrible episode in our country's history.

"I think one of the things that's happened is that people are now at last seeing immigrants as people, people just like them."