Ukip MEP Nathan Gill employed ‘dozens’ of immigrants and ‘kept them in bunkhouses’

New MEP says it is not ‘hypocrisy’ and that he actually envies the amount of ‘spending money’ they had after being paid £200-£300 a week

A newly-elected Ukip MEP has admitted his businesses employed “dozens” of workers from eastern Europe and the Philippines who were kept in “bunkhouses” – but insists this is not inconsistent with his party’s anti-immigration policies.

Nathan Gill, elected to represent Wales in the European elections last month, ran a number of care homes and other family businesses providing services for Hull City Council and brought employees in from overseas.

He conceded “this could look bad” for a politician who campaigned on Ukip’s anti-immigration message, but insisted that the family firm had been unable to “find local workers to do the jobs”.

And he said that the party had “never said it wants to stop all immigration – it wants to limit the numbers”.

As director of the various businesses, Mr Gill oversaw the employment of dozens of people from Poland and other new EU countries and others from the Philippines.

He said that they were kept in bunkhouses as “temporary accommodation… until they could get something more permanent”.

He told the Western Mail that he actually envied the quality of life he provided them, saying: “We charged £50 a week inclusive of electricity to people who would be earning between £200 and £300 a week. I wish I had that proportion of spending money left after paying my mortgage.”

Mr Gill said it was “not at all easy to get work permits” for the Filipino employees after demonstrating “the lengths we had gone to in trying to recruit local labour”.

But he also said that he was sure there “would have been no difficulty” getting permits for the EU workers “if that had been necessary” – as it would be under Ukip policy.

He said: “My focus at the time was to employ people who would enable us to fulfil as a business the care contracts we had. I can see how this could look bad, but it’s a case of ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’.

Read more: On Islam, homosexuality, women and Romanians - meet the Ukip MEPs
Not just Nigel Farage? Ukip combats ‘one-man band’ image

“If we hadn’t employed people from overseas, we’d have been called racist. The fact that we did employ immigrants is leading to charges of hypocrisy. But Ukip has never said it wants to stop all immigration – it wants to limit the numbers.”

Twitter users did not seem convinced, with one describing it as an example of Ukip “telling us to do one thing then doing another”. Another described it as “unbelievable hypocrisy”.

A spokesperson for Welsh Labour called for Mr Gill to apologise and said: “That Nathan Gill cannot see the hypocrisy of his actions is totally unbelievable. This is hugely embarrassing for him given only two weeks after he was elected on an anti-immigration platform.”

This is not the first time Mr Gill has been accused of apparent hypocrisy. In an ITV debate in the run-up to the European elections he said that the poll was “not necessarily about sending people over to Brussels who are going to have a 100 per cent attendance record”.

His fellow MEP candidates questioned whether the people of Wales would be very happy that Ukip was saying: “Please vote for us – but we aren’t going to represent you.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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: Junior Web Developer - Kent - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...

Recruitment Genius: Production Team Leader / Chargehand

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Chargehand to join ...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project