THE people of Clacton have been described as “friendly and welcoming” to immigrants despite new research finding the residents have the most anti-immigration views in Britain.

News publisher Unherd, which surveyed more than 21,000 people in conjunction with pollster FocalData to map social attitudes across the country, warned views on migration were “reshaping the British electorate."

Participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “Immigrants should be free to move to Britain and work”.

The responses were then analysed to create a model for each constituency based on the demographics of their populations. Out of 632 constituencies, Clacton was the least supportive of immigration with 47 per cent disagreeing with freedom of movement, compared to 22 per cent who were supportive.

Sushila and Dihrajlal Karia, who have run the Hindu Cultural and Heritage Centre from their home in Clacton for almost 40 years, said the town’s residents are welcoming to immigrants.

Dihrajlal, who is originally from India but moved from London to Clacton in 1974, said: “My experience in Clacton has been fantastic. Everybody has been so kind and friendly.

“We welcome schools to our temple and they all enjoy themselves and when we have our annual Ganesha Visarjan ceremony on the seafront a lot of local people come out to support it.

“We have never had any problems here in more than 40 years and we feel like a real part of the community.

“We don’t feel like immigrants here and are part of Clacton.”

Clacton councillor and Ukip branch chairman Mary Newton, who is also Tendring Council’s cabinet member for business and economic growth, said people had real concerns about immigration.

She said: “I’m not anti-immigration but we must only have immigration that we need.

“Unfortunately, many people just come in and are a massive drain on the system creating a problem for housing and they create a problem for the NHS.

“Clacton is a strong Brexit area and the survey does not surprise me - immigration is part and parcel of that.”

In Harwich and North Essex, 33 per cent of people were pro-immigration, compared to 40 per cent who were not placing it at 401st nationwide.

Colchester came 124th, with 40 per cent of people were pro-immigration, compared to 35 per cent who were not.