Nigel Farage blames immigrants for Ukip being unpopular in London

The eurosceptic politician says Labour have a built-in advantage in the capital

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage

Newly arrived migrants are responsible for Ukip’s underwhelming electoral performance in inner London, the party’s leader has said.

Nigel Farage argued that it was difficult for his party to beat Labour in the capital because of the city centre’s high proportion of foreign-born residents.

“The fact is that the inner ring of London is very difficult for anybody but Labour. It’s the only part of England in which the Labour vote continues to rise,” he told BBC radio.

“The Labour vote falls everywhere but rises in central London. The reason for that is a lot of newcomers with new passports vote Labour.”

Mr Farage argued that his party could have more success in outer London, noting some limited success in a number of parliamentary constituencies.

Ukip performed poorly in the 2012 mayoral elections in the capital, receiving 2 per cent of the vote and coming in sixth place behind the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, and an independent candidate.

The party’s fortunes have continued to rise nationwide since then, though it is not clear to what extent this will feed through to support in the capital.

The party does not have any London Assembly members despite the deliberative chamber’s proportional representation system of election. One of London's eight MEPs is from Ukip.

The 2011 census suggests that 36.7 per cent of London's population was born overseas.

The Ukip leader has previously courted controversy for making comments about migrants, in 2014 branding parts of Britain "unrecognisable" and "like a foreign land" because of their cosmopolitan character.

Mr Farage’s party is holding its autumn conference today in Doncaster. It has so far mainly focused on the question of the European Union and the expected upcoming referendum.

The party leader told an audience in his keynote speech that the party and its supporters “want our country back”.

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