Nigel Farage admits Ukip has 'some idiots' as he launches party's latest poster campaign for Euro elections
The Ukip leader criticised the media for focusing on the party's failings
Nigel Farage has conceded that Ukip contains “some idiots”, but maintained that media coverage of the controversies surrounding the party in the lead-up to the European elections has been “completely disproportionate”.
Speaking in Dover, Kent, at the launch of Ukip's new billboard campaign for the elections, Mr Farage said that he believed the party’s “simple” message would resonate with voters across the UK.
Distancing himself from the so-called “idiots”, the Ukip leader claimed he had “never heard” of a candidate who posted numerous tweets espousing extremist views.
And Mr Farage also defended the embattled Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson over the n-word row, saying it was “just typical Clarkson”.
The Twitter account of Harry Perry, standing for Ukip in Offerton, is a stream of Islamophobic and homophobic abuse.
Mr Farage said: “I've never heard of the bloke until last night. I've no idea who he is.
"I think he comes from the north west of England. Clearly his attitude and views are entirely inconsistent with being a member of Ukip. Simple."
He added: "I could show you 14 elected councillors from the Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative parties who haven't just said nasty things, they've been convicted this year of nasty things.
“And yet it never makes a national headline. I am not saying we haven't had our problems, we have.
"Every party has these kinds of problems but there is a completely disproportionate media spotlight on what goes wrong in Ukip compared to the others."
Responding to Prime Minster David Cameron’s comments about not needing to discredit Ukip as they do a "good enough job themselves", Mr Farage laughed and said: "It was good clever politic. I'll give him that. Yeah, we've got some idiots.
“What is happening here is the establishment are singling out a handful of unpleasant comments made by Ukip people and yet the other parties do these things and say these things it would appear with impunity.
"The other thing Mr Cameron said is that I was a chicken.
“Well, I'll tell you what Dave, why don't you come on telly and do a debate with me?”
Ukip’s campaign poster features a picture of the White Cliffs of Dover with an escalator running up the middle and the slogan: “No border. No control. The EU has opened our borders to 4,000 people every week.”
The poster adds: “Take back control of our country.”
The Ukip leader believes his party's “simple” message about immigration will get the public, if not politicians, talking.
“I've been trying over the course of the last few weeks to have a national debate on this issue.
"They point blank refuse to engage with me. On Monday this billboard will be going up on hundreds of sites right across the United Kingdom, and even if the politicians don't want to discuss this issue, I think this very simple, straightforward message is going to get the public talking about it," he said.
He added: "We may well be on the edge of the biggest migratory wave yet to come to these shores and the British Government is impotent, there is nothing we can do.
“The only way to solve this Mr Cameron, and Mr Miliband, is for the British people to have a referendum so that we can discuss this openly and vote on it.”
Asked about the Clarkson row, Mr Farage said: “The more controversial Jeremy Clarkson is, the more people watch his programme, and the more money the BBC makes out of marketing a show that sells globally and makes them a fortune.
"I would think it's just typical Clarkson, getting very, very close to the line of being offensive but perhaps not quite going over it," he said.
Additional reporting by Press Association
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...