UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told Newsnight
host Evan Davis that his overly negative warnings about “foreigners with HIV” are “to get noticed”.
Farage claimed in two televised debates that “foreigners with HIV” were draining the NHS, and that 60% of 7,000 recent diagnoses’ were non-British nationals. Davis challenged Farage on his statistics, which faced condemnation from HIV charities and have been proven to be untrue by More or Less
, the BBC statistics show, which investigated Farage’s claims and found his stats to be based on data many years out of date and an incorrect interpretation of figures.
“Does it worry you that if you sound off on foreign criminals, foreigners with HIV...” Evan Davis began, in an interview aired on BBC One yesterday evening, “if you ramp up the rhetoric on these issues, many British people will say this is not where I want to be with modern British values of worldliness, tolerance and being a good global citizen?”
The UKIP leader stuck by his claim on the issue, responding: “To wake people up to the truth of what’s going on, you sometimes have to say things to get noticed. Political parties evolve and change.”
“If you look at the way UKIP is fighting this general election, from our manifesto to speeches I’ve given all over the country, what I’m saying is we no longer need to make the negative arguments about the effect that immigration has had.”
“The argument we are now making is we are the one party that firstly offers a solution, and has a positive and an ethical vision for how immigration should be managed.”
When the Newsnight
host pushed him for an answer to his original question, Farage added: “I’m answering by saying, in order to get the public aware of some of these issues, perhaps that tone had to be used.”