Ukip candidate ‘lets mask slip’

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Would-be Ukip MP Mark Reckless has come under fire after suggesting that migrants who have settled in Britain could be asked to leave.

The Tory defector, expected to win back his Rochester and Strood seat in a by-election tomorrow, said EU nationals would probably be granted work permits for a “fixed period” if the UK left the union.

Speaking in a hustings broadcast on ITV, Mr Reckless was asked what he thought should happen to a Polish plumber who lived in the area and whose children went to school there.

“I think in the near term we’d have to have a transitional period, we should probably allow people who are currently here to have a work permit at least for a fixed period,” he said.

“People who have been here a long time and integrated in that way, I think we’d want to look sympathetically at.”

After Mr Reckless was cut short by jeering, Labour candidate Naushabah Khan said: “Where would you stop, Mark? My family are migrants, are we going to say they need to go back as well?”

Ukip has reportedly played down the comments, arguing that Mr Reckless misunderstood the premise of the question.

But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said he had “let the mask slip”.

“To hear the language of repatriation coming from someone they hope will be their second MP is shameful,” she said. “It’s a policy that comes straight out of the last BNP manifesto and does not reflect British values.

“Be it Mark Reckless talking about repatriation, council candidates who attack Lenny Henry for the colour of his skin, or party thugs who overturn other parties’ street stalls, nasty views are not far below the surface.”

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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