Nigel Farage was confronted by an angry caller living with HIV live on LBC over remarks he made suggesting HIV positive migrants should be prevented from entering the UK.
Mr Farage found himself accused of “stooping to a new level of ignorance” when comments he made about controlling the "quality" of people who come to the UK during an interview with Newsweek Europe were published.
When asked by Newsweek whether "quality" meant people without a murder conviction, he answered: "Yes. And people who do not have HIV, to be frank. That's a good start. And people with a skill. That is what Britain should do."
A woman named Charlie responded to his remarks live on LBC, saying she has been living with HIV for over 20 years and is receiving regular treatment for the virus.
She told the Ukip leader: “I’m very concerned about what Ukip is saying […] I don’t believe I am a drain on the national health system.
“I am not a threat to anyone,” she added.
Mr Farage defended his position on HIV and immigration, saying it was a good thing Britain has the money and resources to treat British citizens with an illness.
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
1/8 1993: Alan Sked forms Ukip
History professor Alan Sked had been active in anti-EU politics for a while beore he founded Ukip in 1993. He resigned from the party after the 1997 election, concerned that it was attracting far-right members, and has been critical of Ukip since. Picture: Reuters
2/8 2005: Kilroy defects
Former TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk founded Veritas in 2005, after a failed bid to become leader, and took many of Ukip's elected members with him. But the party slowly lost its popularity and didn't put forward any candidates in the last election. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty REUTERS KD/RUS
3/8 2010: Farage becomes leader, again
Farage had led Ukip from 2006 until 2009, when he stood down to fight against the Speaker, John Bercow, for his Buckingham seat. He failed to win the election and returned to lead the party in November 2010. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty
4/8 2010: Ukip fights for election
Nigel Farage was injured in a plane crash on polling day in the 2010 general election, but his party increased its success in the votes. It fielded 572 candidates and took 3.1% of the vote, though failed to win any seats. REUTERS/Darren Staples
5/8 2013: Eastleigh gains
Ukip's candidate Diane James got the highest ever number of votes for any candidate from the party, but was beaten by the Liberal Democrats. The surge in support gave Ukip confidence ahead of local and European elections later in the year. Picture: Reuters
6/8 2013: Bloom kicked out
Godfrey Bloom, who served as an Ukip MEP from 2004 to 2014, had the whip withdrawn in 2013 after sexist comments and an attack on a journalist. He sat as an independent MEP until 2014, when he ended his term in office. Picture: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
7/8 2014: European election success
Ukip got a higher proportion of the vote than any other party in 2014's European elections, adding 11 new MEPs and taking its total to 24. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
8/8 2014: Carswell defects
Douglas Carswell defected from Ukip at the end of August, and was followed by Mark Reckless at the end of September, who resigned from the Tories amid rumours of many more defections to come. Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville
“But if we turn the National Health Service – and the clue is in the name, it’s designed for this country – if we turn the National Health Service into a global health service, we have a severe problem with resources,” he said.
“We don’t want people who have got criminal records, and we can’t afford to take people who have serious illnesses and life-threatening diseases.”
Charlie accused Mr Farage of trying to relate the Ebola virus to HIV and of "ramping up fear" about the condition. “You are playing the race card," she said. "You are homing in on black people and what you need to realise is that actually, this is not a black disease […] Ramping up the fear makes people hide.”
However, the Ukip leader dismissed her claims of playing the race card as “ridiculous”. He claimed tuberculosis is now costing the NHS great sums of money – a disease he said was coming from Southern and Eastern Europe.
“The National Health Service is for British people and for families who in many cases have actually paid into this system for generations."Reuse content