Backlash erupts in UK after UKIP leader says he wouldn't want to live next to Romanians
British politician and leader of the right-wing political party United Kingdom Independence Party Nigel Farage has been criticised from all angles after saying he’d be concerned if a group of Romanians moved in next door.
The uproar culminated in the cancelling of a UKIP event in south London, after protesters arrived to accuse Farage of being a racist. According to The Guardian, the band also refused to play after finding out they’d been booked by the party.
Farage initially defended his comments, saying that the UK was in a political union with a post-Communist country susceptible to organised crime and it was right to discuss “where there are differential crime rates between nationalities”.
However he has decided to backtrack after a massive backlash – including criticism from traditionally rightwing press such as The Sun, which called his comments "racism, pure and simple".
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg told the BBC: "The mask is starting to slip and I think what's being revealed behind that sort of beer-swilling bonhomie is a really nasty view of the world."
Trying to limit the damage, Farage said the vast majority of Romanians would make good neighbours.
Although he said regretted his form of words but said there was a "real problem" of Romanian criminality.
Romania’s Ambassador to the UK Ion Jinga said it was hard to believe that in the 21st Century in London - a metropolis where more than 100 nationalities live in harmony - someone could express such a political credo.
Jinga said it was time for the ‘disgraceful’ campaign of unfounded scaremongering against Romanians to stop.
Shaun Turton [email protected]