New UKIP MP Douglas Carswell backs Nigel Farage’s call for HIV migrant ban
Newly-elected UKIP MP Douglas Carswell has backed Nigel Farage’s call to ban people with HIV from entering the UK.
The UKIP leader said this week, when asked whether which kinds of people should be allowed to enter the UK: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill.”
He has faced criticism for the comments, with HIV/AIDS charities including the Terrence Higgins Trust and National AIDS Trust condemning the comments, as well as a number of other politicians.
However, Mr Carswell, who was re-elected on Thursday after defecting from the Tories, says he agrees with “everything” his new leader said.
Mr Carswell’s father Wilson Carswell was a pioneer in HIV research, and helped to diagnose the first confirmed cases of HIV/Aids in Uganda
Douglas Carswell told the Guardian: “I agree with everything that Nigel has said and we need an Australian-type immigration system.”
However, he dodged questions, saying: “I don’t recognise the Guardian’s characterisation of the debate.”
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Labour MP David Lammy said previously: “Hard to know where to start with this. Farage trying to revive the very worst bigotry of the 80s. Shameful.”
Yusef Azad of the National AIDS Trust said: “Nigel Farage’s comments on banning people with HIV from migrating to the UK are both ignorant and discriminatory.
“If Mr Farage believes a migrant with HIV cannot make a net contribution to our society, he believes the same about UK-born citizens with HIV.
“That is factually incorrect and deeply stigmatising. To call for entry bans, to lump people with HIV in with criminals, to describe HIV as simply as a ‘life-threatening disease’ are relics from the bad-old days of AIDS panic.
“They don’t contain the spread of HIV, they drive the spread of HIV.”
Australia has previously been criticized for its law, which requires HIV testing for anyone over the age of 15 applying for a permanent visa.