UK & World News
Nigel Farage: Don't Call UKIP A Racist Party
Nigel Farage has attempted to combat claims the UK Independence Party is racist, at a chaotic meeting interrupted by protesters.
Hecklers shouted "racist" as each of the speakers took to the stage at the gathering in central London, before all those demonstrating were bundled out by security.
None remained when UKIP leader Mr Farage appeared on the platform alongside a number of the party's black and ethnic minority candidates - including former boxer Winston McKenzie.
He hit out at accusations the party had become a home for racists and said sections of the media were stirring up hatred against them.
"Let this be UKIP's Clause IV moment," he told cheering supporters, in a reference to Tony Blair's famous announcement that he was scrapping Labour's commitment to nationalisation.
"I don't care what you call us. You can call us right wing, left wing. You can call us small-minded.
"I don't care what you call us but from this moment on, please, do not ever call us a racist party. We are not a racist party."
He acknowledged that remarks made by a number of the party's candidates had caused embarrassment, but said the media had wrongly portrayed them as representing the views of the party as a whole.
"There will always be in any system a few people who creep over the line and cause us embarrassment," he said.
"I would rather the 10 people - out of 2,234 (candidates) - who said things that are either stupid or offensive in some case - I'd rather it hadn't happened.
"The result of this has been huge sections of the British media defended their friends in the so-called main parties and the offensive, idiotic statements made by this handful of people have been lifted up and presented to the Great British public as if they represent the view of this party, which they do not.
"They never have and they never will."