UK Politics

Ex-UKIP councillor Rozanne Duncan: 'No regrets' over comments

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Media caption'Meet the Ukippers' features Rozanne Duncan, whose comments have been described as "deeply racist" by party leader Nigel Farage

A councillor expelled by the UK Independence Party over what were described as "deeply racist comments", says she does not regret what she said.

Rozanne Duncan, who sits on Thanet District Council, was filmed making the comments as part of BBC documentary Meet the Ukippers, airing on Sunday.

Mrs Duncan said she felt "betrayed" after being expelled in December for bringing UKIP "into disrepute".

But she has insisted she is not racist and does not regret what she said.

She now represents Cliftonville East - in the Thanet South seat where UKIP leader Mr Farage is running for Parliament - as an independent councillor.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage repeated his condemnation of Mrs Duncan's remarks and stood by the decision to expel her from the party.

"Clearly she doesn't have any understanding of the deep offence she has caused by her comments, and we took the right decision," he told BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme.

'Hidden agenda'

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Image caption Mrs Duncan maintains that she said nothing racist

In the fly-on-the-wall documentary, Mrs Duncan was recorded as telling UKIP press officer Liz Langton Way: "The only people I do have problems with are negroes. And I don't know why.

"I don't know whether there is something in my psyche or whether it's karma from a previous life or whether something happened to me as a very, very young person and I've drawn a veil over it - because that sometimes happens, doesn't it?

"But I really do have a problem with people with negroid features."

She was forced out of UKIP when the party became aware of the comments.

Mrs Duncan claimed there was a "hidden agenda" behind her expulsion and insisted there was nothing "racist or derogatory" in what she said.

She said: "I don't regret saying it. I don't regret anything, that's the truth.

"I still honestly believe that what I said was never at any time racist or derogatory.

"I used the word 'negroes' as you would do Asians, Chinese, Muslims, Jews. It's a description, it's not an insult - in the same way as you would say, 'What do you mean by Jewish? Well, they belong to a community, they have got a certain faith, they have usually got noses that have got a bit of a curve to them, married women - if they are orthodox Jews - wear wigs.' It's description."

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Media captionNigel Farage on Rozanne Duncan: "We were right to get rid of her immediately"

'No right to reply'

Mr Farage said last week: "I haven't seen the film but she is alleged, and she confirmed to us, that she had made a series of racist comments that is at odds with what we stand for."

In a letter to UKIP chairman Steve Crowther last month, Mrs Duncan said she had been expelled from the party "without being offered the courtesy of a right to reply via a disciplinary hearing".

She said she had no intention of appealing against the decision.

Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna likened Mrs Duncan's remarks to those that "could've very easily been made by a member of the BNP", and claimed there was a "virus of racism at the heart of UKIP".

He said the incident was the latest in a catalogue of comments from those associated with UKIP that "most people would consider prejudice and unacceptable".

The BBC documentary also features UKIP's Thanet South chairman Martyn Heale speaking about the media attention over his brief past membership of the National Front.

In the programme, he says: "For Christ's sake, I was never a member of the Gestapo. I was not a member of the Stasi, I never served a term of imprisonment in my life."

Meet the Ukippers is on BBC Two at 22:00 GMT on Sunday 22 February

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