Writing for The Telegraph, Mr Timothy, who also served as chief of staff to Mrs May in Downing Street, said: “The problem with the new asylum policy is not that it is an inhumane departure from civilised standards.”
Andrew Mitchell, a former international development minister, told the Commons that although Ms Patel deserved “great personal credit” for seeking to tackle the migrant crisis, many of her Conservative colleagues had “grave concerns that the policy she has announced simply will not work”.
David Davis, the former Brexit minister, on Tuesday said the policy was not what the UK should be doing with its freedoms after leaving the European Union.
“The freedoms of Brexit should be about innovations justifying British exceptionalism on the basis of moral leadership, not moral delinquency,” he wrote in The Times. “We are better than this. Or at least, we used to be.”
Ms Patel told the Commons that putting asylum seekers up in hotels costs taxpayers £5 million a day, prompting heckles of “how much?” from MPs.
Stuart McDonald, the SNP’s home affairs spokesman, was one of several opposition MPs to take issue with the morality of the policy following interventions by church leaders over the Easter bank holiday.
He said: “This is a cruel and a catastrophic policy. It will not hurt smugglers but will further seriously harm people who have fled persecution.
“In short, this disastrous policy has nothing to do with the global migration crisis – it is everything to do with distracting from the PM’s political crises.”