HIV-positive activists have dumped half a ton of manure outside a Ukip office on World Aids Day, saying “what goes around comes around”.
Members of the London-based Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (Act Up) said they wanted to show Nigel Farage what they thought of his recent statements suggesting people with Aids should be barred from entering the UK.
The Ukip leader later defended his assertion in a Newsweek interview that “quality” immigrants include “people who do not have HIV…that’s a good start.”
Mr Farage told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the UK's public services could not cope with extra demand created by people with severe medical conditions, claiming that the US and Australia had similar policies.
“We want people to come who have got trades and skills, but we don't want people who have got criminal records - and we can't afford people with life-threatening diseases,” he said.
“I do not think people with life-threatening diseases should be treated by our National Health Service and that is an absolute essential condition for working out a proper immigration policy.”
After dumping the manure outside the party’s Croydon branch, Act Up activist Gary Hunter called Mr Farage’s comments “bull****”.
“The vile crap that Ukip keeps spreading stigmatises and ostracises people living with HIV, gay people and immigrants.
“We thought this steaming pile of muck was a great representation of what we, as HIV-positive people, think of Ukip’s agenda.”
The manure was decorated with a red Aids ribbon and a banner reading “what goes around comes around. Solidarity on World Aids Day. #UkipStinks”
Another Act Up activist, Dan Glass, said the US repealed its blanket ban on people with HIV entering the country, dating back to the panic in 1987, five years ago.
“The UK has never seriously considered it –we should be proud of that,” he added.
“Ukip think they can spout filth without any consequences to them, but their lies directly impact millions by promoting stigma…if anything is making us miserable it’s their fear-mongering and demonisation, which makes people afraid to get tested or discuss their status.”
About 40 per cent of new HIV diagnoses in 2013 were of people born outside the UK, according to statistics by Public Health England.
The former deputy leader of Ukip, Lord Monckton, wrote an article last week claiming that gay men had “as many as 20,000” sexual partners in their “short, miserable lives”.
In a column for The Independent, Mr Farage said there was “no place [in Ukip] for men like Monckton”. The Glaswegian politician was kicked out in December 2013.
“Now, I’m not sure where Viscount Monckton is getting his statistics, but to frame these comments as he has is both deeply offensive and fundamentally wrong,” he wrote.
“This sort of disruptive, crass and insensitive work serves to underscore why people with views such as these, openly mocking while seeming oddly threatened by homosexuals, should get no support from Ukippers.”
He went on to highlight the existence of an “LGBTQ in Ukip” Facebook page for gay Ukip supporters but did not mention his defence of Newark candidate Roger Helmer.
Mr Helmer provoked anger by saying people find homosexuality “distasteful if not viscerally repugnant” and claiming same-sex marriage paved the way to legalising incest.
“When Roger grew up and, indeed, when he was an adult, homosexuality was illegal in this country and he held that view for some period,” Mr Farage said.
“Actually if we asked the 70s and over in this country how they felt about it, most of them still feel uncomfortable.”
The Ukip leader has pointed to David Coburn, his party’s openly gay MEP, as proof of its inclusivity.
“How many other parties have an MEP who describes himself as 'spectacularly homosexual' and a 'great big screaming poof'?” he wrote in an Independent column. “David Coburn MEP’s words – not mine!”
Ukip has not yet responded to The Independent’s request for a comment.
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