An attempt by an MP to restrict the amount of benefits non-UK citizens could claim has failed.

Shipley Constituency MP Philip Davies sponsored fellow Conservative MP Christopher Chope’s Bill, which would have capped the limit of benefits to the equivalent benefits they could get in their home country.

Mr Davies, who represents Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston, said: “I think this country should treat all people who are not UK citizens exactly the same, irrespective of where they are from. It should not matter whether they are from India, Pakistan, South Africa or south America, or from Poland, Bulgaria, France or Germany.

As far as I am concerned, we should treat them all the same. To me, they are all non-UK nationals.”

“We should not be picking and choosing which countries have better people than others. To me, that means restricting their access to benefits in this country.”

He told MPs the primary aim for the Government was to support British people and warned the country could not afford to support non-UK nationals.

“We cannot afford to carry on handing out benefits willy-nilly to people who choose to come here from all over the EU - it is not sustainable for the welfare state or for our citizens. It will collapse the welfare state for UK citizens if we keep having to add to the burden,” he said.

He also questioned whether EU rules allow free movement of people or labour and if it were labour, people without jobs should be sent back to their own country and not stay and claim benefits.