The Conservative government has made a U-turn on its controversial plans for British companies to "name and shame" their foreign workers.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon made the official announcement today (9 October) that Home Secretary Amber Rudd's plans would be scrapped, following widespread criticism calling them "divisive", "vilifying foreigners" and being likened to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Rudd announced the controversial plans at the Conservative Party Conference last week, which were also backed by Prime Minister Theresa May.

However, Education Secretary Justine Greening's comments on Peston on Sunday this morning (9 October) gave rise to speculation that the plans would be scrapped.

Shortly after, Fallon told BBC Radio: "Let me absolutely confirm that is not going to happen, we are not going to ask companies to list or name or identify their foreign workers."

However, he did suggest a data collection exercise would still be undertaken, but reassured businesses that any data collected would not be published and would be used to get an idea of which sectors of the economy relied on foreign workers.

In a speech delivered to Conservative conference delegates on Tuesday (4 October), Rudd said the plans would aim to "flush out" companies who abuse employment rules and push them "into better behaviour", encouraging them to hire more local workers.

But Greening said the government never intended for the data to be made public.

"I'm saying it really clearly now," she said. "The consultation will be coming out shortly that makes that clear too."

Currently, schools in the UK have been forced to ask parents to confirm their children's country of birth, nationality and ability to speak English. The Department of Education said that this data will not be shared with other government departments.

Amber Rudd
Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaks on stage on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference 2016 at the ICC Birmingham Matt Cardy/ Getty Images