Conservative MP Philip Hollobone has said one of the key reasons Romanians should be prevented from moving to the UK because of the number that commit crimes.
"There is currently a crime wave of bag snatchers and pickpockets on London underground," he said. "Eight out of 10 pickpockets on the London underground are Romanian."
The Kettering MP, who is a special constable, made the comments during a parliamentary debate on Romanian and Bulgarian immigration on Monday evening that had been triggered by people signing an e-petition on the subject.
He told MPs that it was not racist to be opposed to immigration but rather a recognition that "our country is full and we will not put up with it for too much longer".
"For all of us who are concerned about immigration, it has never been about the colour of somebody’s skin or about the culture or country they come from," he said. "It has always been just about the numbers."