A Church of England bishop has warned that the former archbishop of Canterbury's call to political parties to limit immigration into Britain could play into the hands of racists.
The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds the Right Rev John Packer said the views of Lord Carey and the parliamentary cross-party group on balanced migration could lead to a lack of tolerance and welcome towards asylum-seekers.
He added that the emphasis should instead be placed on issues surrounding poverty and unemployment in the run-up to the general election.
Bishop Packer was speaking after 19 MPs and peers, including Lord Carey, backed a call for all the major parties to make a commitment in their general election manifestos not to allow Britain's population to reach 70 million.
He did not "believe Lord Carey or the group are racist but their approach can play into what becomes a racist opposition to people who are not from a white, Anglo-Saxon background," he said.
"The sorts of concerns they raise can lead to a lack of tolerance and welcome towards those seeking asylum. I believe we ought to have a culture of hospitality towards asylum-seekers."
Bishop Packer said significant numbers of people in Leeds, the main city in his diocese, were unemployed and added that he would want any challenges to political parties to place the emphasis on such issues.
Earlier this month, Lord Carey said he was not calling for a ban on immigration into Britain but warned that, if concerns were not addressed, it could play into the hands of the far-right British National Party.