UKIP’s Douglas Carswell refuses to back Farage’s HIV comments

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Politician whose father diagnosed first HIV cases in Uganda refuses to be drawn on leader’s comments.

During last night’s television debate, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “There are 7000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV positive, but 60 percent of them are not for British nationals.

“I know there are horrible things happening in many parts of the world, but we need to put the system there for British families who have paid into it for decades.”


Douglas Carswell, who was one of UKIP’s first MPs, was asked for his opinions on Mr Farage’s comments by the Telegraph. He said: “I think it’s sensible and reasonable to say our health service should not be an international health service. That’s a fair, sensible and reasonable point.

“There are lots of countries around the world that say you can’t go to that country and access publicly funded healthcare.”

Mr Carswell’s father, Wilson, was one of the first doctors to identify HIV in Uganda. His experiences working under Idi Amin were the inspiration for the book, and later film, The Last King of Scotland.

When asked to clarify his opinion on the NHS treating foreign HIV patients, specifically in light of his father’s work, Mr Carswell said: “I know what you’re trying to do. You are trying to get me to say something I haven’t said.

“You are putting a slightly slanted question that will mean I have to answer it in a way that means I’m at odds with my party leader. I’m not going to play that game.

“I think the point he made about the National Health Service not being an international health service is perfectly sensible, perfectly reasonable.”

Mr Carswell previously said Mr Farage’s suggestion to ban migrants with HIV was not “serious”.