THE Spectator has been accused of using “vile” imagery to promote an article about immigration in Britain.

The column, by Sam Ashworth-Hayes argued “politicians haven’t been honest about immigration to Britain”.

It is accompanied by an illustration which shows a giant wave of non-white migrants climbing over each other to get to what resembles the White Cliffs of Dover.

The people are seen stretching their hands out towards land as two tiny onlookers watch.

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The National: Nigel Farage was previously criticised over his 'breaking point' posterNigel Farage was previously criticised over his 'breaking point' poster

The article’s picture prompted fierce backlash with comparisons made to Nigel Farage’s infamous anti-migrant poster which showed a queue of thousands of mostly non-white migrants and refugees, accompanied by the words “BREAKING POINT: The EU has failed us all”.

Others went further in their comparisons, with SNP MP John Nicolson tweeting: “Even by Spectator standards this is revolting imagery.

“The imagery and messaging would have looked very familiar to a Nazi propagandist in 1930s Germany.”

Replying to the tweet, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson said: "John, I always find links work best as you can see the original context and actually read articles. This was is a cover image from 2014: The Spectator ever since has argued for amnesty for undocumented migrants. Can we now count on your support?

"And John, here's one of The Spectator's more recent leader articles calling for amnesty for undocumented migrants - though we've been making this case for 20 years. But what's needed is for MPs to make this case in Parliament. Hope you can do so one day."

Miqdaad Versi, Muslim Council of Britain’s media spokesperson, suggested the timing of the image was particularly insensitive.

He said: “This week: a person who previously said he planned to ‘obliterate Muslim children’, bombed a migrant centre in Dover.

“Today: The Spectator publishes an image of a *tidal wave* of what appear to be Muslim migrants at the white cliffs of Dover. Disgusting.”

On Saturday, the firebombing of an immigration processing centre in Dover was declared a terrorist incident.

Police said they found evidence the attack was motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology.

Andrew Leak, 66, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, is believed to have killed himself at a nearby petrol station after throwing two or three “crude” incendiary devices at the Western Jet Foil site, in Kent, last Sunday.

The article, by the former director of studies at the Henry Jackson Centre, argued that despite the public repeatedly voting to lower immigration UK numbers have only increased.

Ashworth-Hayes said while immigration had brought benefits to the UK it hasn’t been without its costs.

He added that politicians, including Tories, have come to the conclusion those benefits outweigh the costs.

However, much of the criticism was centred around the picture, with the director of the Good Law Project Jo Maugham tweeting: “Remember the outrage Farage's fascistic 'Breaking Point' poster caused in 2016?

"This image from The Spectator is far worse. But we are no longer outraged. The Spectator will sit in polite drawing rooms and be amplified by the BBC. Brexit has made us Farage's nation.”

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RS Archer added: “Imagery matters, this from The Spectator is appalling and will ferment hatred.”

And Glasgow Labour MSP Paul Sweeney said: “Disgusting to see the @spectator indulging in such xenophobic imagery.

"It's not only bigoted, it's an ignorant caricature.

"The UK has experienced broadly similar levels of migration compared to other high-income countries, on average over the past few decades."

The Spectator has been approached for comment.