Nigel Farage has delivered a masterclass in how to avoid answering a question after being grilled over comments he made about “uncontrolled immigration” feeding terrorism in the wake of the Westminster attack.
After Wednesday’s rampage by terrorist Khalid Masood, that left four dead and some 40 injured, Farage gave an interview in America where he said: “If you open your door to uncontrolled immigration from the Middle Eastern countries you are inviting in terrorism.”
The Ukip MEP was asked about the comments, “made before much information had come out” about the British born perpetrator, on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, but rather than conceding he “got it wrong”, Farage happily defended his statement.
“Well that’s right isn’t it?” Farage told Ridge, when his remarks were read back to him, ignoring her comments that immigration was not “relevant” to the London attack as Masood wasn’t an immigrant.
Farage then went on to say that five of the eight terrorists who “committed that barbarity in Paris (on 13 November 2015 terrorists killed 130 dead people in coordinated attacks) had come in across the Mediterranean”.
Ridge interjected, telling Farage that “we are not talking about the barbarity in Paris”, before he attempted to then reference the Berlin terrorist attack where a truck was driven into crowds at a Christmas market last year.
Ridge then made a second attempt to get Farage to speak about his remarks in reference to the London attack.
“With respect we are not talking about the barbarity in Paris. You were talking about..”
Farage then cut her off and changed tact: “Actually, as it turned out. The fact that it is a home grown terrorist is even worse. The fact is this guy was radicalised inside a prison. Theresa May was home secretary for six years. I’d like to know why people are being radicalised inside schools and prisons. Surely that is something we can prevent.”
Ridge then circled again, first agreeing that radicalisation was a “huge issue”, before demanding that Farage “just admit you got it wrong... you’re supposed to be a straight talking man.”
Farage: “Wrong... goodness, gracious me. Just have a look. I was talking about terror attacks in Europe and I said... and I said... we did not know what the cause of this attack (in London) was. I was absolutely clear and specific.”
He continued: “However, now that the deal is clearly breaking down. Very bad relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey. Europe now faces, you know, perhaps an even bigger migrant tide this summer than its ever had before and it has no way of protecting itself from terrorists coming in. That is a very real issue, and actually, I think its one of the reasons we voted for Brexit.”
Ridge told Farage that she respected his views on immigration, then attempted one last time to make him comment directly on how his remarks related to the “devastating event that happened in Westminster” that was committed by a “52-year-old from Kent, like yourself he was born in the UK”.
Farage: “I agree with you. This is worse. This is even worse. The fact that people are being radicalised inside our prisons and we appear, over the last few years, to have done nothing about it. So we have two problems, but given we already have a problem with people being radicalised at home, why on earth would you want to add to it with an irresponsible immigration policy.”