Nigel Farage defends Romanian neighbours comments after car-crash interview with full-page advert saying ‘Ukip is not a racist party’

The Ukip leader earlier said he had been 'tired' when he claimed he would be 'uncomfortable' if a Romanian family moved in next-door

Nigel Farage has defended the comments he made about Romanian people in a car-crash interview with LBC last week, insisting that “Ukip is not a racist party”.

After he told BBC News that he had been “tired” when he made the radio appearance last week, the party has now taken out a full-page advert in a national newspaper featuring “an open letter” from its leader.

Mr Farage was accused by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg of revealing his “divisive, nasty approach” to politics on Friday when he insisted to LBC’s James O’Brien that he was right to feel “uncomfortable” at the thought of having a Romanian family move in next door.

He later appeared to relent – saying he “regretted” the fact that he “didn’t use the form of words in response that I would have liked to have used”, adding: “In life sometimes people get things wrong.”

Yet today the party appeared to be back on the offensive. In an advert in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Farage again quoted crime figures about Romanians, saying that they commit “92 per cent of all ATM crime in London”.

“The vast majority of Romanians who have come to the UK wish to better their lives and would make good neighbours,” he wrote.

“But there is a real problem, an unpalatable truth that our political class would rather not discuss. Since the welcome fall of Communism and the awful dictator Ceausescu, Romania has struggled to complete a full transition into a western democracy.”

Citing issues of organised crime and the social exclusion of the Roma minority in Eastern Europe, Mr Farage went on to say: “We should not be in a political union with Romania, with an opened door to all of their citizens. We must take back the power to stop criminals from entering our country by taking back control of our borders.

“When this happens my answer to the question, ‘should people be concerned if a group of Romanian men moved in next door?’ will be 'no'.”

Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday that after a difficult week for Ukip “the mask is starting to slip”.

He said: “I think what's being revealed that sort of behind the beer-swilling bonhomie is a rather nasty view of the world.

“I think anyone who singles out one community, one nationality, and says 'I don't want to live next door to them', I really think that's the politics of division and I think it really should have no place in modern Britain.”

Last week also saw Ukip’s South East chair Janice Atkinson clash with protesters in Ashford, Kent, and a picture of her swearing at them quickly went viral.

On Friday, as well as the bruising LBC interview, the party was forced to cancel its Freephone number after it received so many calls from protesters deliberately trying to push up the party’s costs.

And it wasn’t a good day generally for the party, after it was reported that one of its MEP candidates was found to be employing seven illegal immigrants – and Mr Farage “refused to appear on London Live without a professional make-up artist”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Apprenticeships

£10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an outstanding opportunity for 1...

Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph - High Wycombe

£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...

Recruitment Genius: Automation Test Analyst

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum