The Ukip leader Nigel Farage has blamed the fact that he missed a paid-for party event in Wales on immigrants.
In an appearance on BBC’s Sunday Politics Wales, Mr Farage was accused of a lack of professionalism after he failed to make it to a “Meet Nigel Farage” evening in Port Talbot for which about 100 people paid £25 each.
But the party leader said that traffic on the M4 was to blame for his lateness – and put that down to “the population going through the roof”.
He said: “It took me six hours and 15 minutes to get here - it should have taken three-and-a-half to four.
“That has nothing to do with professionalism, what it does have to do with is a country in which the population is going through the roof chiefly because of open-door immigration and the fact that the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.”
The comments come as Mr Farage announced the appointment of a new spin doctor, the former BBC producer Paul Lambert – nicknamed “Gobby”.
Ukip's confusing policies
Ukip's confusing policies
1/6 Deport migrants
Ukip MP Mark Reckless suggested he would deport existing EU migrants, a policy Nigel Farage rejected out of hand.
2/6 US-style NHS
Farage was caught on film in 2012 saying healthcare headed towards insurance-based system, though he has since said he would keep it free at the point of use.
3/6 Handbag tax
Ukip Economy spokesman Patrick O'Flynn said he would introduce a tax on high-price items like shoes, Nigel Farage disowned this idea.
4/6 Same-sex couple adoption
Ukip candidate Winston McKenzie likened adoption by same-sex couples to "child abuse", but the party rejects that view.
5/6 Gay marriage?
In early 2014 Ukip released a statement saying it would review its gay marriage policy, but later said that was an error.
6/6 Sex education u-turn
Nigel Farage told Leaders Live that he backed sex education for under-11s but later admitted that is not Ukip policy.
And also on the Sunday Politics programme, his former communications chief Patrick O’Flynn appeared to suggest that Mr Farage was a “control freak” in the way he runs the party.
Video: Nigel Farage's comments on breastfeeding
Now an MEP, Mr O’Flynn admitted the leader was “the dominant figure in the party”, adding: “"I remember Tony Blair in my days as a journalist saying to me you are either a control freak or you have lost control.
“And, if you have to decide which side of that fence to go on then having control is probably the right option.”
Thought I'd heard it all but @Nigel_Farage has just blamed immigration for clogging the M4 and making him late for his keynote speech.— Owen Smith MP (@OwenSmithMP) December 7, 2014
Hearing that Mr Farage had “just blamed immigration for clogging the M4 and making him late for his keynote speech”, Labour’s shadow Welsh Secretary tweeted that he “thought I’d heard it all”.
He told BBC News: “Remarks like these are what make Farage so dangerous.
“It is clearly absurd to suggest heavy traffic on the M4 is caused by immigration, but through the laughter at his silly comments you can hear UKIP's dog-whistle politics of division.”