Tory MP Alok Sharma has thrown his support behind Boris Johnson's pledge to deliver an Australian-style points-based immigration system if he is chosen as Prime Minister.
The employment minister told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer that the UK could benefit from "control" over migrants.
“We need to remain an outward looking and positive country and have a global perspective but of course the immigration policy that we have should be based ultimately on what makes sense for our country,” he said.
“That means being more open to skilled immigration, having control over unskilled migrants and what he’s saying in terms of the Australian system is, let’s look at it.”
He added: “I think what we want to make sure is that the immigration system that we end up with is one which is fairer and simpler.”
Leadership frontrunner Mr Johnson said he wanted to rebuild trust in the immigration process and will be “tougher on those who abuse our hospitality”.
“We must be much more open to high-skilled immigration such as scientists, but we must also assure the public that, as we leave the EU, we have control over the number of unskilled immigrants coming into the country.”
The Australian system issues points based on criteria including an applicant’s English skills, educational qualifications and age.
Mr Johnson said he would ask the Migration Advisory Committee to incorporate elements of this system into UK law, which is set to be updated in 2021.
“We must be tougher on those who abuse our hospitality. Other countries such as Australia have great systems and we should learn from them,” he added.