A COUNTY Durham MP has been urged to reconsider his support for a controversial law campaigners say will unfairly hit key workers.

Last month the government secured a green light for the first stage of its flagship immigration bill, which is intended to bring an ‘Australian-style’ points based system to the UK.

The bill was approved by the House of Commons by 351 votes to 252, including Sedgefield MP Paul Howell, paving the way for tougher barriers to anyone trying to move to Britain to work from abroad.

Proposals have suggested ‘points’ would be awards on the basis of an applicant’s ability to speak English, a job offer and a salary of at least £25,600.

But critics, like Paul Daly, chairman of Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party (CLP), claim it shows ‘contempt for all of the workers that our society needs, who are underpaid’.

In an open letter to Mr Howell, he said: “Many of the people in low paid work have been revealed as being; key workers. The threshold is only marginally below the median wage for County Durham .”

Mr Howell, was not available for comment.