People in Britain should be more concerned about bankers who steal billions than Roma who beg on the streets, an adviser to the Romanian prime minister has said.

Damian Draghici said he expected relatively few Roma would make the journey to the UK when the restrictions on the movement of Romanians and Bulgarians in the EU are lifted on January 1.

"The Roma begging in the streets are obvious because we see them, they ask for one pound or one euro and they bother us. Yet some of the people in the banks are stealing billions of euros but nobody sees them because they are on the 60th floor," he told The Times.

Mr Draghici, who is an adviser on Roma affairs, said the Roma did not like Britain because it was too cold and predicted that only around 2,000 to 3,000 would travel to the UK this winter.

"Seventy percent of Roma that left from Romania in the last 10 years are integrated. They have kids that go to school and they act like active citizens and taxpayers in the places where they are."