The BBC has been challenged by another UKIP candidate who refused to be drawn into a debate on whether the party was divided over one of its flagship policies.
Tim Aker, who is standing in the constituency of Thurrock where Conservative Jackie Doyle-Price is defending a tiny minority of 92, was quizzed by the BBC following the party’s successful policy launch.
The party has proposed an independent commission to look at net migration levels based on what would be best for the party. The interviewer tried to use that to create a hypothetical situation which would recommend immigration into the UK in the hundreds of thousands.
The party, along with the Conservatives, have said they want net migration to be reduced to the tens of thousands although David Cameron admitted that the target was not going to be reached in the duration of the last parliament.
“If, if, if” Mr Aker said, shaking his head in what looked to be mild amusement at the predictability of the questioning. “What we’re looking at is going back to normality,” he said, before having to ask the interviewer to let him finish.
“For much of the 20th century, net immigration was between 20 and 50,000 a year. What we had was the Blair and Brown aberration – well and the Cameron aberration too, I seldom can’t tell the difference between the reds and the blues on this,” the MEP said.
“We want to get the best immigration from the world, that fits Britain, that they contribute.”
A silent presenter let Mr Aker continue, allowing him to use his airtime as a live party political broadcast.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans had said that there could be circumstances where non skilled migrants would be allowed into the UK, if there was a shortage of workers.
Asked if he was “worried” if “that kind of rhetoric might turn off some of your core supporters?” Aker explained to the presenter, “That’s what happened before!
“We had seasonal workers when net immigration was in the tens of thousands – isn’t it great! Being able to control your own migration policy.”
Repeatedly ignoring questions about what “his own party leadership” were saying, Mr Aker reminded viewers: “You’ve got the reds and the blues, two sides of the same coin, who love our EU membership, who love net immigration in the hundreds of thousands, or they can go for UKIP…where we want the British people themselves to be in control.”