UKIP's Mike Hooketh distances himself from 'badly worded' party policy on Islam
UKIP deputy leader Mike Hooketh insists he has no issue with muslims.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, the politician appeared to distance himself from the parties policies on islam, which proposes that muslims who adopt a literal interpretation of islam should be screened before entering the UK.
Asked to define what the policy meant, he told Piers Morgan: "It's about people coming into the country, it's about safeguarding the people in this country and making sure those people in the country are not going to do harm."
Hooketh later appeared to backtrack, denying the policy would affect muslims visiting the UK, adding: "It could be possibly badly worded, so we're not saying that. I've got no issue with religion whether it be islam, or jewish, catholic or whatever."
When questioned about his motives for staying with the party despite disagreeing with their one of their key policies, Hooketh said: "It's not a policy I support, I don't support all of the policies but I do support very many, probably 99 percent of them."
Asked whether the policy will be removed, he said: "We look at these policies all the time, we evolve the policies but at the moment we're concentrating on Brexit.
Pressing the politician for a clear answer, Piers asked: "I just want to know are muslims who follow a literal interpretation of islam allowed in or not?"
To which Hooketh replied: "Under that badly worded policy, obviously not, but it would be changed, it would be moved, it would be evolved.
"As I said we've got a new leadership election next month - whoever the leader is might say 'I don't want that'."
He continued: "As I said, I have no problem with muslims, none whatsoever."
Elsewhere, the deputy leader also addressed UKIPs position in the polls ahead of the European elections which currently sits at four percent.
He argued: "I'm on the streets every weekend, and I'm getting a huge positive response from the people."
Out of 24 MEPs elected in the last European Elections in 2014, only four MEPS remain with the party, while ten of them joined former UKIP leader Nigel Farrage's newly formed Brexit party who are tipped to take 30 percent of the votes.
Addressing the exile, Hooketh said: "The party hasn't collapsed, those other MEPs have gone on to pastures new and the very best of luck to them."