Nigel Farage has claimed the media “wilfully misinterpreted” his comments on discrimination legislation. The UKIP leader had been arguing laws banning companies from favouring British workers should be scrapped, but it was reported as him wanting to repeal race discrimination laws.
His comments on supporting British workers were made on a Channel4 documentary to be shown next week. But ahead of it he appeared on this mornings Today Programme to hit back at the media outlets that ran the story.
Farage said: “I didn’t mention race at all. There was no part of that interview which I ever said it at all.
He added: “What I said was that I do believe there should be a presumption for British employers in favour of them employing British people as opposed to somebody from Poland. That is exactly what I said.”
Channel4 have denied misrepresenting his comments, but a number of national newspapers ran the story claiming he was talking about race. In fact he said “I think the employer should be much freer to make decisions on who she or he employs.
“I think the situation that we now have, where an employer is not allowed to choose between a British-born person and somebody from Poland, is a ludicrous state of affairs.
“I would argue that the law does need changing, and that if an employer wishes to choose, or you can use the word ‘discriminate’ if you want to, but wishes to choose to employ a British-born person, they should be allowed to do so.”
UKIP have argued British workers were disadvantaged by the influx of immigrants from the former Warsaw pact and Soviet Union. Under the rules on free movement of labour around half a billion people are entitled to live and work in the UK without a visa.
Farage has previously claimed that immigration-linked wage deflation has caused “the minimum wage to become the maximum wage for many people.” He also used today’s radio appearance to say the unemployment caused by immigration affects both black and white British people.
Despite the claim of misrepresentation Labour’s Sadiq Khan MP attacked Farage, saying: “When my parents moved to London they frequently saw signs saying ‘no blacks, no dogs, no Irish’. What UKIP is suggesting would take us back to those days.”