We woke up this morning to a fresh race row sparked by Nigel Farage. In an interview for a Channel 4 documentary due to be aired next Thursday, the Ukip leader says he wants laws banning racial discrimination in the workplace to be scrapped.
The comments have fuelled an angry response, with all political leaders wanting to be seen condemning Mr Farage. Watch the video and then see how his remarks have generated a heated debate on Twitter and the airwaves.
Sadiq Khan kicked the reaction off with this rather hyperbolic response:
"This is one of the most shocking things I have ever heard from a mainstream politician and demonstrates breath-taking ignorance. 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."
Farage hit straight back:
Sadiq Khan calls young jobless Brits "Black, Asian, and multi-ethnic". I call them "British" and argued FOR jobs for them over EU migrants.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 12, 2015
I said on @BBCr4today that I've made no comments on race. I am the only party leader standing up for British workers, whatever their colour.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 12, 2015
And I would suggest the REAL racists in our society are the ones who hear me say "British" and think "white". Deeply concerning.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 12, 2015
David Cameron was "deeply concerned" (not just about the threat of Nigel Farage nicking Tory votes):
Nigel Farage is attention seeking. The laws protect people from racial discrimination. It's deeply concerning he doesn't understand that.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 12, 2015
On his weekly LBC radio phone-in, Nick Clegg said Mr Farage "instills fear by confusing a lot of these things."
.@David_Cameron The people the law doesn't protect are British workers, black or white. Disturbing, though unsurprising, that u don't care.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 12, 2015
Ed Miliband chipped in once he realised it was a popular thing to do:
I think Nigel Farage's comments today are wrong, divisive and dangerous. The laws we have on equality represent our values as a country.— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) March 12, 2015
And predictably, Farage replied:
.@Ed_Miliband The laws don't represent these values, Ed. The British people do. We believe in Britain. You believe in bureaucracy.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 12, 2015
The Daily Mirror columnist suggested we boot Farage out on his own terms:
If Nigel Farage says we don't need equality laws, let's refuse to employ him on the grounds he's a white, male, over-the-hill bigot...— fleetstreetfox (@fleetstreetfox) March 12, 2015
But Jeremy Vine (unfortunately not the real one) suggested Ukip are to blame for needing racial discrimination laws in the first place:
Scrap race laws? Nigel Farage and UKIP are the reason why we need race discrimination laws in this country— Jeremy Vine (@jeremy_vine) March 12, 2015
Farage attempted to clarify his comments:
"Employers should be able to employ British people over somebody from Poland without fearing they've breached discrimination laws.
But the jokes kept on coming:
Nigel Farage says "we have moved on from racism in this country". Yep, moved all the way to the Paris Metro.— Owen Bennett (@owenjbennett) March 12, 2015
Farage's team drew up a quick poster:
Media & other parties can try and skew what I've said but the truth is UKIP believes in Britain, and we fight for it: pic.twitter.com/PxMD3N5cZN— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 12, 2015
And finally, the Ukip leader used the whole row to convince Cameron to man-up and join the TV debates: