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12/11/2013 10:59 GMT | Updated 12/11/2013 12:49 GMT

David Blunkett Backed By Nigel Farage After Warning Of Roma 'Riots'

Blunkett warns of riots
PA
Blunkett warns of riots

Whether he likes it or not, veteran Labour MP David Blunkett has won the approval of Nigel Farage after warning of riots caused by the Roma community.

The former Home Secretary told BBC Radio Sheffield the Roma community had to change the way it behaved to avoid "aggravating" local residents.

His comments were backed by Ukip leader Farage, who said he should be taken "very seriously".

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Blunkett told the BBC: "We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there's going to be an explosion otherwise.

"We all know that."

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He compared the situation in his Sheffield constituency to towns like Bradford, Oldham and Burnley, which were hit by riots between white and Asian youths in 2001.

"If everything exploded, if things went wrong, the community would obviously be devastated," he added.

This was music to the ears of Farage, who has been accused of scaremongering over the lifting of visa restrictions on people from Romania and Bulgaria next year.

"Mr Blunkett should be admired for the courage he has shown by speaking so plainly on this issue", he told The Telegraph, claiming he would have been condemned had he used the same language.

He went on: "The fact that he is talking of the significant difficulties with the Roma population already in his constituency should be taken seriously by the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.

"My question is if they won't listen to the dangers of opening the door to Romania and Bulgaria next year when UKIP speak out on it, will they listen to David Blunkett? I certainly hope so."

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