UK & World News

  • 18 May 2014, 22:39

Ed Miliband: Nigel Farage Is 'Not A Racist'

Ed Miliband has told Sky News his political rival Nigel Farage is "not a racist", despite his controversial comments this week.

The UKIP leader has come under heavy criticism after an LBC interview in which he said he was uncomfortable with people speaking foreign languages on public transport.

He also told interviewer James O'Brien "you know the difference" between Romanian and German immigrants.

When asked whether Mr Farage was racist, Ed Miliband told Sky's Dermot Murnaghan: "Personally I don't think so.

"I think his remarks he made were deeply offensive ? I think they were a racial slur but I don't think of Nigel Farage as a racist himself."

Ahead of Thursday's European election vote, Labour is trying to present itself as a party with a tougher stance on immigration.

Mr Miliband admitted that the last Labour government failed to take people's concerns seriously enough, adding: "It was our attitude that was wrong, and needed to change."

David Cameron is also talking tough on immigration ahead of the crunch vote, arguing the Conservative stance on a referendum after the next election is the right one.

He also insisted he is still focused on the target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands - despite there being little chance of achieving it in this parliament.

He told theMurnaghanprogramme the Government has taken "tough action on immigration", adding: "The point of having that target is it's what I want and what the British people want.

"We are working towards it."

When asked whether it is still a target, he replied "of course" - but refused to confirm when he hopes to achieve it by.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Cleggsaid that Mr Farage's views should have "no place in modern Britain".

He told the Andrew Marr Show: "I think the mask is starting to slip and I think what's being revealed that sort of behind the beer-swilling bonhomie is a rather nasty view of the world."

He said anyone who singled out a nationality they would not wish to live next door to was practising the "politics of division".

The latest poll shows UKIPcontinuing its lead ahead of the European elections on 35%. Labour is second on 24% with the Tories on 20%. The Green Party is on 7% overtaking the Lib Dems on 6%.

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