LABOUR and the Tories have clashed on immigration in parliament as their leaders attempted to outflank each other to the right on immigration policy.

Keir Starmer announced none of his MPs were for “open borders” as the Prime Minister defended the Conservatives’ record on immigration - which he claimed saw "criminal gangs running amok".

The Labour leader said the UK’s asylum system was “broken” as he grilled Rishi Sunak on more than a decade of Tory oversight of immigration policy.

He asked the Prime Minister: “If the asylum system is broken, and his lot have been in power for 12 years, how can it be anyone’s fault but theirs?”

And he added: “No-one wants open borders on this side of the House. They have lost control of borders on their side of the House.

“Four prime ministers in five years. It’s the same old, same old, he stands there and tries to pass the blame.”

READ MORE: Scottish pupils chase off 'Nazi recruiter' from school grounds

It comes amid a brewing row over Home Secretary Suella Braverman's handling of increased numbers of people arriving in Britain by small boats - with her comparing refugees arriving on the English coast to an "invasion". 

She was accused of failing to use languge which promoted "human dignity" by a Kirk leader - with other MPs calling her words "disgusting" and "shameful". 

Speaking afterwards, Anne McLaughlin, the SNP's immigration spokesperson, said the exchange showed "exactly why Scotland needs independence". 

She added: "The people of Scotland want no part in this deplorable race to the right, which fails to show compassion to those fleeing war-torn countries or places where they face prosecution.

“Both the Tories and Labour must realise that their political obsession with Brexit, coupled with callous and barbaric plans regarding immigration, will achieve nothing expect pain and misery to families.

“With the full powers of independence, we can rid ourselves of these inhumane policies and instead offer refugees protection, security and dignity from the minute they step foot on these shores."

Sunak claimed the UK public wanted to see the Government “getting a grip on migration and our borders” and attacked Starmer’s historical support for remaining in the European Union – a position he has since abandoned.

The Prime Minister added: “Let’s look at the record … he voted against the Nationality and Borders Bill, he said he would scrap the Rwanda partnership, he opposed the ending of free movement of people.

“Border control is a serious, complex issue, but not only does the party opposite not have a plan, they have opposed every single measure we have taken to solve the problem, you can’t attack a plan if you don’t have a plan.”

Starmer countered that he did not support the Rwanda plan – which human rights campaigners have argued is unlawful and inhumane – on the grounds it was not workable.

READ MORE: UK Government ‘immoral’ for refusing indyref2, law professor says

He added: “We voted against [the Rwanda plan] because we said it wouldn’t work and it hasn’t worked.

“He says he’s getting a grip, he’s got a plan. So, let’s have a look at that plan.

“The Rwanda deal was launched in April, it cost the taxpayer £140 million and rising, the number of people deported to Rwanda is zero. Since then, 30,000 people across the Channel in small boats. It’s not working.”

Sunak admitted that the Home Office was processing too few asylum claims but said the department had added 80% more workers to assist their efforts.

He said: “But if [Starmer] really was serious about fixing this problem, then he would acknowledge that we do need to tackle the issue of people putting spurious, spurious claims, spurious repeated last-minute claims to frustrate the process. That’s how we’ll tackle the system.”

Starmer later boasted he had “prosecuted people smugglers” while accusing the Tories of failing to tackle the backlog of asylum claims.

David Linden, SNP MP for Glasgow East, commented on the exchange: "Oh, goody. Labour and the Tories flexing their muscles to show who is more anti-migration. Utterly depressing."