Nigel Farage: UKIP would abolish anti-discrimination laws

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UKIP would get rid of “irrelevant” anti-discrimination laws, party leader Nigel Farage has said.

Mr Farage’s original comments came during an interview with the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, for a Channel 4 documentary called Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True.

The programme is set to be broadcast next week.

Mr Farage said that while concern over preventing racial discrimination in employment “would probably have been valid” 40 years ago, it is not today.

“If I talked to my children… about the question of race, they wouldn’t know what I was talking about,” he was reported to say.

The UKIP leader said that race and other anti-discrimination legislation should be abolished.

Asked if he would retain a ban on discrimination on the grounds of race or colour, he said: “No… because we take the view, we are colour-blind. We as a party are colour-blind.”

Criticising employment laws, he said: “I think the employer should be much freer to make decisions on who she or he employs.

“I think the situation that we now have, where an employer is not allowed to choose between a British-born person and somebody from Poland, is a ludicrous state of affairs.

“I would argue that the law does need changing, and that if an employer wishes to choose, or you can use the word ‘discriminate’ if you want to, but wishes to choose to employ a British-born person, they should be allowed to do so.”

Asked about his remarks on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Farage said: “My comments have been wilfully misinterpreted. I have made no comments about the Race Relations Act at all.

“I have made comments in favour of British people getting jobs over and above those from southern eastern Europe.”

Downing Street said his comments were “deeply concerning”, while Labour branded them “shocking”.

Earlier this month, Mr Farage denied accusations that UKIP had a problem with homophobia, saying “attempts by the media and everyone else to paint UKIP out to be homophobic frankly come to nothing.”

In February, UKIP urged for the post of Minister for Women and Equalities to be scrapped.