Farage defends 'racist' Ukip immigration posters

Nigel Farage has defended a controversial new Ukip poster campaign that claims 26 million unemployed Europeans are "after" British jobs. The party's leader is beginning his tour of the country on Tuesday ahead of May's European elections.

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Lib Dem President attacks Ukip ad campaign

The President of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron MP, has strongly criticised Ukip's current advertising campaign, calling it factually and morally wrong and "fundamentally, very un-British." But, Mr Farron said of the adverts, "they are at least clear."

We have a European election that we're in the midst of now and we see there's one party that if you want to leave the European Union, if you want to turn your back on the three or four million jobs that it helps us create in this country, turn your back on our collective efforts to tackle climate change and to build peace and security since the Second World War across Europe, if you want to turn your back on all that, then you vote Ukip, that is very clear.

– Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat Party President

Asked if the poster campaign was racist, Mr Farron didn't answer directly, but said it was at least "straightforward and direct". He was also asked if the party was scaremongering. He replied that they had tried to "appeal to the basest of instincts, of fear."


Farage quizzed over aide's election leaflet photo

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has shrugged off questions over whether a woman featured in the party's campaign literature should have been identified as one of his aides.

Pictures of Lizzy Vaid appear in several promotional documents portraying her as a grass-roots supporter.

She is captioned as "Lizzy Vaid, Devon". She works as an events manager for the party and assistant to the leader.

She is quoted as saying: "I'll be voting Ukip because they are the only party listening to what people want."

Asked about the labelling during a television interview, Mr Farage said he "did not see the need" to state that she was an employee.

I don't see any reason to do that at all. She is someone in our promotional material who is going to vote for Ukip, she joined Ukip, she got a job with Ukip, because she believes in what we stand for. Do you want us to say the religion of all our candidates?

– Nigel Farage, Ukip leader

"She works for us in our head office in London. I don't think you would ask this question of the Labour Party or the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives. The fact that Lizzy Vaid is half Indian and works for us is as far as we are concerned a non-issue.

– Nigel Farage

Ukip ad campaign inspires spoofs

Ukip's current advertising campaign has spawned a slew of imitations, one uses the Tories' 2005 campaign slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?" and even the departure of David Moyes gets a mention.Here are some of the imitations the ads have inspired.

Ukip has denied that the adverts are racist and said the criticism was designed to shut down the debate. Leader Nigel Farage said: "This, emphatically, is not a racist party."

Farage challenged over employing his German wife

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has been forced to defend employing his wife, an immigrant from Germany, who is paid by the British taxpayer. Mr Farage was put on the spot about employing his wife as a secretary by political journalist Nick Robinson.

She came here as a highly-skilled person, earning a high salary, paying a very large amount of tax.

– Nigel Farage on employing his wife, who happens to be an immigrant

Asked if she was taking someone else's job, he said: "No, I don't think so, because I don't think anybody else would want to be in my house at midnight, going through e-mails, getting me briefed for the next day. If you look at Westminster, one in four MPs employs a close family relative."

She earns a very modest salary, for working extremely unsociable hours for me, being available seven days a week. It's a very different situation to the mass of hundreds of thousands of people coming in and flooding the lower ends of the labour market in Britain.

– Nigel Farage

Mr Farage also said his wife had some times worked for him without being paid and he didn't know anyone else who would take a job that involved being available at 1am and 2am.

Ex-Tory donor says Ukip ads 'worth every penny'

The ex-Tory party donor who is funding Ukip's controversial advertising campaign has said it is "worth every penny."

Former Tory party donor Paul Sykes with Nigel Farage at the launch of Ukip's European election billboard campaign Credit: PA Images

Paul Sykes said he had "no idea" how much he had spent on the campaign but added: "I haven't stopped spending yet. It'll be worth every penny."

He said: "What do you think the freedom of this nation is worth? What do you think self-government of this nation's worth? I'm going to spend whatever it takes to make the British people aware that we're no longer governed from this great nation of ours."

Asked for a specific figure he gave estimates of £1.2m and £1.4m. Writing in The Telegraph he put the figure at £1.5m. Mr Sykes said "many other people" had contributed to the campaign and he was not the sole donor.


Nigel Farage: Open door immigration makes no sense

An "open door" immigration policy towards EU citizens has seriously damaged British people's life chances and depressed wages, Nigel Farage has told ITV News.

At the same time, the Ukip leader was forced to admit an inaccuracy in a poster claiming 26 million unemployed Europeans are "after" British jobs.

He acknowledged that that figure included 2 million British people, but said the most important fact was that migration from struggling southern European economies to the UK was on the rise.

Farage: 'I've been accused completely erroneously'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said that reports in a newspaper of the misuse of taxpayers money are completely mistaken, stating he wants to "abolish the system" that provides a lump sum of money to the party from Europe.

Farage again stated he wants the EU expenses system abolished and for him to be "singled out among the 73 MEPs and accused of wrongdoing, is frankly ridiculous."

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