People who have made the “most contribution” to society should be given priority in queues for social housing, a Labour MP has urged.

Frank Field said long-term residents who had paid their rents and taxes should get “first choice”, on the principle housing should be “earned”.

Campaigners say foreign nationals get 40% of new housing in areas of London.

Ministers said councils should be able to set their own rules, taking into account the needs of “local people”.

Mr Field has tabled a private member’s bill which would introduce new measures to determine who should get social housing.

Currently, certain groups are given priority when it comes to social housing, such as the homeless, the elderly and families with children – as well those with refugee status.

To be eligible for social housing, most new migrants must be from the European Economic Area, or have leave to remain in the UK and they must demonstrate they have “settled status”.

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