'You are making it an issue because you will win votes'

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The transcript from BBC Radio 4's "Election Call"

The transcript from BBC Radio 4's "Election Call"

Federico Mazandarani: I would like to say to Mr Howard that I am like his grandfather, a Jew who is a refugee in his country. But unlike Mr Howard who actually has got white skin, I have got dark skin and dark hair. And every time that Mr Howard talks about foreigners who are invading this country ... life for me and people like me ... - by the way I am naturalised British therefore I had to swear allegiance to this country and to the Queen - he is making life impossible for us because he is pandering to the xenophobic views of the readers of the Daily Mail or the hunting lobby or the shire county places where hardly any foreigners actually live.

Michael Howard: Federico, I am very sorry you've reacted in the way in which you have to what I've been saying. You obviously, and the very many other people like you, play a very important part in our society ... I've said many times that we as a country are a better, richer, stronger country because we're more diverse ... But I do believe that if we are to continue to have good community relations ... and if we are to get a grip on our security and proper management of our public services, we have to have an immigration system that is under control.

FM: "Mr Howard you shouldn't make immigration ...

MH: I think we do need to have both an asylum and an immigration system that are fair and under control and that's why I have talked about this issue because I think it's a very important challenge ... I believe that we are putting forward policies which will actually deal with the problems...

FM: "Mr Howard, immigration is not a problem in this country. More people are leaving ... to emigrate to other parts of the world ... You are making it an issue for this because you know you are going to win votes ... Please don't try to patronise me. I am a highly educated person and what you said just confirms to me that all you do ... is pure electioneering and has nothing to do with substance.

MH: I am afraid that your facts are wrong. It's not true that more people are leaving this country than are coming in. Net immigration into this country has tripled since Labour came to office ... I think we need to restore order ... into our immigration system and I'm going to carry on saying that because I think it's an important challenge ...''

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