I can't campaign for Ukip any longer, says party's 'future face' Alexandra Swann over concerns with immigration stance

 

Social Affairs Correspondent

A woman who was heralded as the “future face” of Ukip says she can no longer face campaigning for the party because of their illiberal stance on immigration.

Alexandra Swann was supposed to represent the party's new, younger membership when she publicly defected from the Conservatives at Ukip's spring conference in 2012. Nigel Farage introduced her to a jubilant party faithful, boasting: "I'm very pleased to say that the Swann has migrated to Ukip".

However, it seems the Swann has migrated again. She told The Independent: "I can't bring myself to campaign for them."

The party's increasingly incendiary rhetoric on immigration has pushed Ms Swann, 25, away. She says: "The focus moved to immigration. It was difficult with the anti-gay marriage stuff. Now so much of their argument is anti-immigration which didn't sit well with me.

"The rhetoric wasn't so much about it when I joined. I think we should be discriminating on the skill level [of immigrants] as opposed to what country they're from."

Speaking of her decision not to represent the party anymore, she said: "I haven't officially left or fallen out with anyone but I can't bring myself to campaign for them. I'll probably still vote for them...[but] I don't want to be identified as that Ukip girl... I just don't really want to be affiliated with the party in an ongoing way."

Her shift in allegiance emerged as she was about to appear on the London Live show, Headline London, on Monday lunchtime. Ms Swann vehemently insisted that she did not want to be introduced by presenter Claudia-Liza Armah as a member of Ukip, explaining that the party's immigration stance meant she no longer wanted to be associated with them.

Previously deputy chair of Conservative Future, Ms Swann had been prominent in the Tory youth movement before moving to Ukip. She stood as a Ukip candidate for Farnham North in the Surrey County Council elections last May but lost out to a Conservative in a close-run race.

Her move was seen as a major scalp for Ukip and she was frequently invited to speak on behalf of the party on television and radio. Newspapers described her as "the future face of Ukip".

Despite this, she tried to play down her departure from active campaigning. "I don't want to make a song and dance about it," she said, adding: "I'm technically still a member".

However, the news will be an embarrassment to Ukip, given how much they used her defection to argue that she represented a new wave of young people attracted to the party.

Her current unease at the party's immigration policy is in contrast to her speech at the Ukip spring conference in March 2012. She said then: "We need to tell people that Ukip is probably the only party that can be trusted to defend its people... we put the human rights of British people over the apparent rights of convicted terrorists and illegal immigrants."

She added: "What we really need to do is to remove the smokescreen that's been placed by the liberal left-wing media that Ukip is a far-right party like the far-left BNP, because we're not. Ukip is a party of liberty, of small state."

In the same speech she said that the party stood for the individual and that for that reason "I'm so proud to be a member".

A Ukip spokesman said the party would not comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine