UKIP leader Nigel Farage has attacked David Cameron’s record on immigration, saying that the Conservative Prime Minister had been “wilfully dishonest” when he pledged to cap immigration to the tens of thousands.
Speaking on the beach beneath the white cliffs of Dover – “Dover being the gateway to England” – Mr Farage said that the subject of immigration got “right to the heart” of public disillusionment with politics, as “it is all about trust”.
Mr Farage continued: “Five years ago David Cameron said that he would reduce immigration into Britain back to 1990s levels, i.e. tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands a year.” He said that although the British people could understand that circumstances change, there was a “specific problem with that promise”, which is that Cameron was being “wilfully dishonest because he knew the truth that you cannot have an immigration policy; you can’t set targets at all; you can’t attempt to control who comes into Britain all the while you’re members of the European Union.”
Mr Farage was standing before a new billboard poster, released by UKIP today, which depicts three escalators riding up the white cliffs. A banner headline reads: “Immigration is three times higher than the Tories promised”.
The advert plays on a previous advert released by UKIP during the European elections last May, which showed almost the same image but with only one escalator. UKIP raced to victory in that election taking 26.6 percent of the vote, whilst the Conservatives were beaten into third place.
UKIP have made immigration a central pillar of their general election campaign, with Mr Farage telling the assembled press that there was a “deep level of discomfort” among the residents of “every eastern (England) town.” He said the free movement of people from the EU had been good only “if you’re an agri business or good if you’re rich”.
UKIP would like to see immigration levels return to what Mr Farage called “normality” of around 30,000 net influx each year. Mr Cameron promised to cut net immigration to below 100,000 when he came to power, but the most recent official figures show that net migration reached 280,000 people in the year to last September, higher than when Mr Cameron made his fateful promise.
Speaking to Breitbart London, Mr Farage said: “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Cameron? In the last five years the Prime Minister has asked the British electorate to trust him on tackling immigration. But he’s totally deceived the public by promising something that he knew he could never deliver.”