Nigel Farage criticises Afzal Amin for 'potentially stoking up racial tension'

The Ukip leader's comments come a week after he was accused of exactly the same thing

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The Independent Online

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, has accused Afzal Amin of stoking up "racial tension" after it emerged the Conservative election candidate had tried to choreograph a fake demonstration outside a mosque with the help of former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

Mr Amin, who was standing in the marginal Labour seat Dudley North, was suspended by the Conservative party after he was filmed secretly meeting with Mr Robinson at a restaurant in Birmingham last week.

Mr Amin said he would put up a "robust defence" at a disciplinary hearing tomorrow and stood by his decision to negotiate with the EDL. A senior Tory source predicted Mr Amin would be sacked within days.

Commenting on Amin's electoral tactics, Mr Farage, who is standing in the Kent constituency of South Thanet, said, "Well, if it’s true, and it does appear to be from the video footage, an incredibly dangerous thing to do to stoke up potentially racial tension on the streets of a British city, then with the attention of trying to stop it. Well, what if he couldn’t have stopped it? Very dangerous, very cynical."

Mr Farage's concern about a political figure "stoking up racial tension" comes after the Ukip leader was accused of doing exactly the same thing during an interview with Trevor Phillips, broadcast last week for a documentary on race in Britain.

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Mr Farage told the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality that race discrimination laws needed to be scrapped and described some British Muslims as representing a "fifth column living within our country, who hate us and want to kill us".

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Mr Farage was "instilling fear" among the population, while Sadiq Khan, the Labour shadow justice secretary, accused the Ukip leader of wanting to go back to darker days in British history.

"This is one of the most shocking things I have ever heard from a mainstream politician and demonstrates breathtaking ignorance," he said. "When my parents moved to London they frequently saw signs saying 'No blacks, no dogs, no Irish': what Ukip is suggesting would take us back to those days."

On Friday, the Ukip candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Jonathan Stanley, quit the party over claims of racism and bullying.

He told The Westmorland Gazette: "I have given my full resignation to the party because of issues happening in Scotland, open racism and sanctimonious bullying within the party."

Such problems for Ukip and its leader are not new.

Last year, during an interview with LBC Radio, Farage said that he would be concerned if a group of Romanian men moved in next door to him, alleging there was a real problem of criminality within that community.

Mr Farage was widely criticised: shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "It is racist to some how stir up fears about Romanians living next door."

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