ITV have broadcast a “hatchet job” on the UK Independence Party (UKIP) London mayoral candidate, claiming his supporters “comes from far right” and his campaigners are “all white”.
“For Peter Whittle, everything is about immigration”, opens the report. Adding: “The UKIP formula is simple: tackle immigration, solve the capitals problems”.
“Your focus is immigration, pretty much exclusively?” the presenter snarls at Mr. Whittle later. “Everyone [other parties] talk about now. It is one of the most urgent issues of our time”, he responds. “To say that it is racist is ridiculous”.
— Rags Martel (@RagsMartel) April 27, 2016
Rags Martel, the presenter, also claims it is a common accusation that UKIP receive “support” from the far right”. “People often say that it’s the acceptable face of the far-right, like the BNP?” he asks. “No”, says Mr. Whittle.
“Looking around here, there’s about sixty people and they’re all white”, he complains. “I don’t know what your point is there. The thing is, first of all, they’re not all white”, explains Mr. Whittle, pointing towards the other interviewee, David Kurten, a black man standing in the second seat for UKIP as assembly member. He is also Mr. Whittle’s deputy mayoral candidate.
The Mayoral race, and London politics generally, are defend by two issues; the housing crisis and over capacity on the transport network.
Both of theses things are clearly affected by immigration. More people equals more demand, so supply (house building and rail expansion) must increase to keep up.
Mr. Whittle clearly says in the segment that immigration and the “unprecedented increase in London’s population” is the “biggest driver” of the housing crisis, alongside a lack of building.
However, the presenter says Mr. Whittle puts the housing crisis “solely” down to immigration, rather that “demand”, which, as I’ve just explained, is driven by immigration. The presenter does not seem to make this connection.
The presenter then appears to question Mr. Whittle’s claim to be “London born and bred” and asserts he was “controversially selected ahead of the perceived UKIP favourite Suzanne Evans, who says she was ‘bullied’ by the party”.
“Was Suzanne Evans forced out? Was the party afraid of a women?” he asks Mr. Whittle. “No” he replies, refusing to play his own identity card (Mr. Whittle is gay) off against the accusation of sexism.