Nigel Farage has been forced to admit the Westminster terror attack was unrelated to immigration, following comments he made on Fox News that appeared to link the two.
Speaking to right-wing news anchor Sean Hannity, he said on Wednesday: “An American audience seeing this horrendous thing happening in Westminster should start to say to itself that when Donald Trump tries to put in place vetting measures, he is doing it to protect your country.
“Frankly, if you open your door to uncontrolled immigration from Middle Eastern countries, you are inviting in terrorism.”
But the former Ukip leader was challenged on Sunday morning by Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge, who said the claim was “not relevant” to the Westminster attack, which was carried out by 52-year-old Kent native Khalid Masood, originally named Adrian Elms. Mr Farage is also 52, and from Kent.
Mr Farage said: “Five of the eight people who committed that barbarity in Paris had come in across the Mediterranean posing as migrants.
“The fact that it’s home-grown terrorism is even worse. This guy was radicalised inside a prison. I’d like to know why people are being radicalised inside schools and prisons.”
Ms Ridge said: “Just admit you got it wrong.”
Mr Farage said: “Wrong? Goodness, gracious me. I was talking about terror attacks in Europe and I said we did not know what the cause of this attack was. I was absolutely clear and specific.
“However, now that the deal with Turkey is clearly breaking down, very bad relations between the Netherlands and Turkey, Europe now faces perhaps an even bigger migrant tide this summer. It has no way of protecting itself against terrorists coming in.”
Asked again to address the apparent mismatch between his comments and the home-grown nature of the attack, he said: “I think your researchers have made a slight mistake. I was very specific when I talked about jihadism across the whole of Europe, and I repeat the point.
“As we have a home-made problem already let’s never add to it.”
Ms Ridge said: “So you admit, then, that immigration had nothing to do with this terror attack.”
“Not directly, no, but that’s not the point,” said Mr Farage.
Asked if he would apologise for “appearing to suggest that there was a link between uncontrolled immigration and what happened in Westminster”, he declined.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies