08:35 Tuesday 26th March 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
[P]AUL STAINTON: The Leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, told a packed public meeting last night in Suffolk that he was flabbergasted at the immigration problems in Peterborough. His comments came after the Prime Minister David Cameron visited the region to deliver his keynote speech on immigration, saying that Britain will no longer be a soft touch for benefit claimants. Well, our political correspondent from Look East Andrew Sinclair spoke to Mr Farage last night. (TAPE)
ANDREW SINCLAIR: Want to ask you about something else you said tonight. You said you were flabbergasted to go to Peterborough and see ghettos you called them where people don’t speak any English.
NIGEL FARAGE: Yes, it was a visit to Peterborough, and I was amazed to see the sort of Polish quarter of the town, and to see thee size of it, it’s rapid development, to understand how few people spoke English. But the worst thing was .. and bear in mind that we’re talking about England, which of all the countries in Europe has been the most open, and tolerant of other cultures coming to their country .. a sense of enmity. And I’m sorry to have to say that, but a sense of enmity that has grown up between much of the local population, and the large numbers of Polish people living there. I met a 16 year old girl in Peterborough, and I shall never forget this, who applied for a job on a packing line, you know where they put cellophane round broccoli and things like that, and was told she couldn’t get a job because she didn’t speak Polish. I’m sorry,that simply isn’t right.
ANDREW SINCLAIR: You can talk about enmity, but on the whole people get on very well with each other in Peterborough, despite all the different nationalities which are there.
NIGEL FARAGE: I think people get on together less well in Peterborough than they did ten years ago. And that’s the point. We have had, since the war, a managed migration policy into Britain, thirty to fifty thousand people a year. Over the last ten years it’s averaged half a million people a year. You cannot assimilate new groups in society if they’re coming in at that level.
ANDREW SINCLAIR: It’s an important year now for Ukip. We’ve got the local elections coming up in May. We’ve got the European elections next year. How does Ukip view the next year?
NIGEL FARAGE: Well also of course we’ve got the prospect perhaps of more parliamentary by-elections, and after the last four by-elections, in which we’ve done extremely well, we would look forward to more parliamentary by-elections. I think May 2nd is very important. It will really show across the whole of England whether this rise in the polls is fictional or real. I believe it is real. We’ve then got to see under the first past the post system just how many breakthroughs we can make. And I honestly can’t give you a prediction on that. It’s a very very difficult thing to call. And then the run up to the European elections. So yes, it’s absolutely key. And if we’re going to mount a challenge for the 2015 General Election, well you know we’re not there yet. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’ve still got some big building to do. We’ve still got to professionalise aspects of the Party. I’m not under any illusions about that, but I do believe we’re on our way.