Farage: Migration has made parts of UK 'unrecognisable'

 

Nigel Farage: "We are posing the biggest threat to the political establishment that has been seen in modern times"

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Parts of the UK have become "unrecognisable" due to the impact of mass immigration over the past decade, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said.

He told activists at UKIP's spring conference that opening the UK's borders to new EU members had had a detrimental impact on social cohesion.

He also said he felt "uncomfortable" about the unwillingness of new arrivals to learn and speak English.

Mr Farage has insisted he believes his party can win May's European elections.

In a speech to party members in Torquay he said that "open door, mass immigration" had hurt the poorest in the UK and that UKIP - which wants to leave the EU - would lead a "patriotic fightback" in May.

'Betrayed'

While UKIP supported migrants coming to the UK to fill specific jobs - where there were skills shortages - he said economic problems in the eurozone meant the influx of low-skilled labour to the UK was likely to accelerate and questioned the social and cultural impact it had had.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall Deputy leader Paul Nuttall said 30% of UKIP's MEPs could be women in future

"In scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short space of time, has, frankly, become unrecognisable.

"Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact that in many parts of England you don't hear English spoken any more, this is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren."

The UK, Mr Farage said, had been "betrayed" by "a political class that had sold out to Brussels", resulting in the undermining of legal and political institutions and the loss of control over the country's borders.

The latest official figures, which showed a sharp rise in net migration last year driven by new arrivals from within the EU, illustrated the scale of the problem facing the UK, he added.

"You cannot have your own immigration policy and remain a member of the European Union," he said.

He suggested fundamental changes in the UK's relationship with Brussels were "unobtainable" and that David Cameron's pledge of a referendum in 2017 was designed to "kick the issue in the long grass" until after the general election.

'Patriotic'

Mr Farage later told the BBC that UKIP had made debating the issue of immigration "responsible" and that patriotism was "not something to be brushed under the carpet or sneered at".

2009 EUROPEAN ELECTION RESULTS

  • Conservatives - 27%
  • UKIP - 16.5%
  • Labour - 15.7%
  • Lib Dems - 13.7%
  • Green Party - 8.6%
  • BNP - 6.2%

Speaking at a subsequent Q&A session, Mr Farage said he did not blame young Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK to look for work, given the disparity in wages between the respective countries.

But, recounting a train journey he had taken recently between London and Kent, he said he felt "slightly awkward" at the fact so little English was spoken and suggested learning the language was vital to the process of newcomers integrating.

Reflecting on UKIP's recent surge in the opinion polls and its electoral success, he said the party was "on the march" and represented "the biggest threat to the political establishment that has been seen in modern times".

He suggested UKIP could pull off the "biggest political shock" in years by beating Labour and the Conservatives in this May's European elections and this would be a springboard for it to get its first MPs elected in 2015.

"This is the moment we have waited for," he said. "This is the big one for UKIP. We can achieve something remarkable and can top these European polls."

Poll hopes

Despite hopes of creating a "political earthquake", one recent poll suggested UKIP was currently in third place behind both Labour and the Conservatives.

While Mr Farage suggested up to a quarter of MEPs in the next European Parliament could hold eurosceptic views, he suggested their numbers would not be sufficient to block legislation.

He also said UKIP would not work with the Front National, the French far-right party, saying its politics was based on "race and religion" and that it was "unreformable".

However, the party has faced questions of its own after it emerged its new slogan 'Love Britain, Vote UKIP' was once used by the far-right BNP.

"It is our slogan now, we are keeping it," Mr Farage told the BBC, saying the party was "reclaiming" the phrase.

Asked about the mixed record of its party since the 2009 elections, which has seen five of its MEPs either defect or been removed from the party, Mr Farage said UKIP had had "one or two bad apples which we have got rid of".

The number of female candidates standing in May showed the extent to which the party had changed, he added.

"The most significant change is the rise of women in the party," he said. "Our women have achieve these positions on the European elections lists through merit, which is the example of the kind of society we want to live in."

 

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Conservative conference

  1.  
    Text: 61124 13:12: Get involved

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  2.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 13:12: Get involved

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  4.  
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  5.  
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  6.  
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  7.  
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  8.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 12:58: Get involved

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  9.  
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  10.  
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  11.  
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  12.  
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  13.  
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  14.  
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  15.  
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  16.  
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  18.  
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  19.  
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  20.  
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  21.  
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    David Cameron addressing the conference
     
  22.  
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  23.  
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  24.  
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    Spending on health care services 2012-13
     
  25.  
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  26.  
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    Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.

    Long-term international migration
     
  27.  
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  28.  
    Text: 61124 12:32: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Wow a tax cut for middle income earners. I must be dreaming. Now that would make a huge difference

     
  29.  
    @JohnRentoul 12:32: John Rentoul, Columnist, Independent on Sunday

    tweets: Got me. Well deserved standing ovation for Cameron saying, How dare Labour frighten people about his intentions on the NHS.

     
  30.  
    12:31: Unemployment

    Here are the official figures on unemployment and claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance since 1992.

    Unemployment and Jobseeker's Allowance in the UK 1992-2014
     
  31.  
    12:30: Deficit/surplus

    David Cameron has promised to cut the deficit and achieve a government surplus. Here is the official projection for the next five years.

    Structural deficit and surplus
     
  32.  
    @JamesManning4 12:29: James Manning, Head of Social at @TheSunNewspaper

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  33.  
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  34.  
    12:28: NHS

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  35.  
    12:26: Pensions

    David Cameron hails the government's pensions reforms, which meets with applause from party activists.

     
  36.  
    @DuncanWeldon 12:25: Duncan Weldon, Economics Correspondent, BBC Newsnight

    tweets: Raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 would cost around £5.5bn. So this tax package has a total cost of approx £17.5bn.

     
  37.  
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    David Cameron praises the National Citizens' Service - and pledges that a future Conservative government would guarantee a place on the scheme for every teenage in the country.

     
  38.  
    12:23: Unions

    Some more Labour attack from David Cameron - as he criticises the party's links with the unions. He says the Conservatives are the trade union for ordinary hard-working people and families.

     
  39.  
    @patrick_kidd 12:23: Patrick Kidd, Editor of The Times Diary column

    tweets: This is a really good speech. Unless you viscerally hate Cameron and the Tories in which case nothing he could say would change you.

     
  40.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 12:22: Get involved

    @Brynleydm tweets: @BBCLouise @BBCPolitics Cameron speech full of what no mention of how

     
  41.  
    12:22: Education

    David Cameron tells activists the education system has improved significantly thanks to the Conservatives' education reforms - "with teachers who feel like leaders again". But Labour would risk all this, he claims. He attacks shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who he claims is trying to restrict the educational advantages he had has a child - whereas "I want to spread them to every child" in the country.

     
  42.  
    12:21: Samantha Cameron hears her husband talk about their daughter
    Samantha Cameron watching her husband
     
  43.  
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  44.  
    @paulwaugh 12:18: Paul Waugh, Editor of PoliticsHome.com

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  45.  
    12:17: Forgetting

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  46.  
    @rosschawkins 12:16: Ross Hawkins, BBC

    tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox

     
  47.  
    12:15: Spending choice

    Let the message go out that under the Conservatives, if you work hard and do the right thing, we say you should keep all of your own money to spend as you choose, David Cameron tells conference.

     
  48.  
    12:15: PM: Minimum-wage earners to pay "nothing"
    David Cameron on taxes
     
  49.  
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  50.  
    12:13: 'Zilch'

    David Cameron says raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 will take one million more people out of income tax, and give a tax cut to 30 million people. Those on the minimum wage working 30 hours a week or more will pay "zilch" in income tax, he says to applause.

     
  51.  
    12:11: Breaking News

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  52.  
    12:11: More on taxes

    We need tax cuts for hard working people, David Cameron tells activists.

     
  53.  
    12:11: Taxes

    David Cameron says he wants working people to be able to take home more of their money. He cites previous action, including raises in the personal income tax allowance - which has taken three million people out of the income tax system altogether: a tax cut for 25 million people, he adds. The PM tells conference he wants to go further - but says it will only be possible by reducing the deficit, which requires a further £25bn of savings.

     
  54.  
    12:10: 'Yorkshireman' trending on Twitter

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  55.  
    12:09: Welfare plan

    On tax avoidance, David Cameron adds that companies must "pay what you owe". Turning to welfare, he says the Conservatives will stick to their plan which is "working". He tells activists that 800,00 fewer people are on the main out-of-work benefits thanks to the Conservatives' welfare reforms. He reiterates policy announcements made this week, including more apprenticeships and a lower benefits cap. The Conservatives are the real party of compassion on social justice, Mr Cameron adds.

     
  56.  
    12:05: Corporate taxes

    David Cameron pledges that a future Conservative government will have the lowest corporate taxes in the G20.

     
  57.  
    12:05: If a selfie isn't possible...
    Audience member taking a picture of David Cameron
     
  58.  
    12:04: Commitments

    David Cameron sets out Conservative commitments for the next five years, including more jobs, help to buy homes, lower taxes - but says these are only possible if the government sticks to its long-term economic plan.

     
  59.  
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  60.  
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  61.  
    11:58: Future

    David Cameron says he wants to secure a working majority at the general election, telling conference that entering into coalition with the Lib Dems was not what he wanted to do but what he had to do. He's now setting out his vision for Britain's future.

     
  62.  
    11:57: English devolution

    David Cameron says he has one more task for William Hague - to ensure "fairness" in the UK's constitutional settlement. He says further devolved powers for Scotland must be matched by greater English devolution - and vows English votes for English laws.

     
  63.  
    @toryboypierce 11:57: Andrew Pierce, Journalist

    tweets: Having met Michael Gove's puppy he's right. You would trust it more than Ed Miliband to do down Putin

     
  64.  
    11:57: William Hague laughs at David Cameron's impersonation
    William Hague laughing
     
  65.  
    11:56: Prime mimicker

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  66.  
    11:56: Jihadists warning

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  67.  
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  68.  
    11:52: The cabinet stands to applaud
    The Cabinet applauds David Cameron
     
  69.  
    @janemerrick23 11:51: Jane Merrick, Political Editor of @indyonsunday & columnist for @independent

    tweets: "The run up to that referendum was the most nerve-racking of my life" says Cameron. Good honest admission #cpc14

     
  70.  
    11:50: David Cameron gets standing ovation
    David Cameron entering the stage
     
  71.  
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  72.  
    11:47: PM is here

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  73.  
    @BBCRichardMoss 11:46: Richard Moss, BBC

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  74.  
    11:45: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

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  75.  
    11:44: Not long

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  76.  
    @BBCLouise 11:43: Louise Stewart, BBC

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  77.  
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  78.  
    11:41: Miliband

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  79.  
    11:40: Gove warms up crowd
    Michael Gove
     
  80.  
    @Tinglepolitics 11:39: Len Tingle, BBC

    tweets: Outside #Conservative conference. No doubting what this bloke wants-he mentions 1940 and the Germans a lot #CPC14. See photo

     
  81.  
    11:38: Social justice

    Michael Gove says society is fairer, with the gap between rich and poor "closing". He brands the Conservatives as the party of social justice and progress - as "only we know" the importance of a secure economy and a strong leader. Labour is unfit to govern, he adds.

     
  82.  
    11:36: Praise

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  83.  
    @nigelfletcher 11:35: Nigel Fletcher, ex-Conservative adviser

    tweets: Didn't even try to get into the hall for the PM's speech- watching instead in the #LondonLounge, my conference home from home. #CPC14

     
  84.  
    11:34: What we've done

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  85.  
    11:34: Tax pledge? Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

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  86.  
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  87.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 11:32: Get involved

    @ultramodtro tweets: Just watchin' the @daily_politics while I finish my tea, before going into the spillover hall to watch the PM. #CFC14. See photo

     
  88.  
    11:32: Let the music play

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  89.  
    11:31: Cheers

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    Audience
     
  90.  
    11:30: Hammond concludes

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    Philip Hammond
     
  91.  
    11:27: EU negotiations

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  92.  
    11:26: Lib Dems attacked

    Philip Hammond quotes Margaret Thatcher now - which goes down well in the hall. He says slowly but surely other EU states are "coming round" to the need for change. Mr Hammond attacks Labour for "surrendering" sovereignty and taxpayers' money to EU - and counters that the Conservatives have started to "reverse that trend" - noting David Cameron's success in securing an EU budget cut. "All that in coalition with the most Brussels-loving bunch of Europhiles you could ever wish to meet," Mr Hammond says, and adds: "Just think what a proper Conservative government could do."

     
  93.  
    11:24: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Treasury minister Priti Patel MP tells Andrew Neil she "will not speculate on other departments' budgets and cuts" at this stage, in a discussion about ring-fencing the NHS budget under a future Conservative government.

     
  94.  
    11:23: EU concerns

    Philip Hammond says foreign policy must support the government's long-term economic plan. He tells conference that worldwide exports are up 28% since 2009. Turning to the EU, the foreign secretary says he has been "aghast" as the common market has "morphed into an institution with the aspirations of a superstate" and "hoovers up" powers that belong to member states. It's not what the British people signed up to, he says.

     
  95.  
    11:20: Ukraine

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the UK has extended its hand to Russia over recent decades but President Putin has "torn up the rule book and chosen the path to confrontation" through his "illegal behaviour" in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

     
  96.  
    11:18: Assad

    Philip Hammond rejects suggestions that a deal should be done with Syrian President Assad to defeat IS: "Assad is the problem and he cannot be part of the solution," he says, to applause.

     
  97.  
    11:18: Iraq action

    Philip Hammond talks about the "twisted ideology" of Islamic State and says the organisation is the "antithesis of everything we stand for". Britain must defeat it, he tells conference. As a defence leader in the world, it is right that Britain is taking part in international military action against IS militants in Iraq, Mr Hammond adds, and says it should be "proud".

     
  98.  
    @afneil 11:17: Andrew Neil, BBC

    tweets: We are on BBC2 now with two hour special from Tory party conference. Including Cameron speech #bbcdp

     
  99.  
    11:15: Hague quip

    Philip Hammond says William Hague is a very hard act to follow as foreign secretary - but quips that he has one thing that Mr Hague doesn't, and brushes a hand through his hair.

     
  100.  
    11:14: Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, is addressing the conference
    Philip Hammond addressing the conference
     

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