Watch: Piers Morgan challenges UKIP MP over Nigel Farage’s HIV comments
Piers Morgan has challenged UKIP’s Douglas Carswell over Nigel Farage’s comments about “foreigners with HIV”.
Mr Carswell was a Conservative MP until last August, when he defected to the UK Independence Party, later becoming UKIP’s first elected MP.
However, Mr Carswell rarely speaks about the extreme opinions espoused by UKIP politicians.
During last night’s BBC Leaders’ Debate, Mr Farage repeated for a third time a claim that the NHS shouldn’t treat “foreigners with HIV” – despite his previous statistics being proven to be false.
Mr Carswell, whose father Wilson Carswell was a pioneer of HIV/AIDS research, was pushed by journalist Piers Morgan during a special episode of Question Time.
Piers Morgan pressed: “The reason I think you’ve avoided this is because your own fathers is one of the most eminent researchers into HIV in the world.
“I would like to ask you whether you felt ashamed of what Nigel Farage said, about the stigmatisation of foreigners coming here with such a crippling, awful disease.
“Do you feel happy that he is trying to get himself get elected on a ticket of ‘don’t let these people come into the country’?
Carswell did not answer the question, saying: “I think it’s entirely legitimate and right that we should expect that our health service is a national health service, and not an international health service.
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“I grew up in Uganda in the 1980s, and I feel very strongly about this… the story of HIV has also been a story of enormous progress, and advances in medical science for which I think we should celebrate. People now have access to retro-viral treatment…”
Piers Morgan continued to press him to actually answer the question, saying: “Why would Nigel Farage isolate HIV as a stick to beat people with? Why stigmatise those people?”
Mr Carswell continued: “I think prejudice has been overcome in Africa and around the world.
“It’s entirely legitimate that during a campaign, you can raise the issue of how we pay.”
When pressed for a direct answer by Question Time host David Dimbleby, Mr Carswell eventually conceded: “You need to talk to Nigel about that.”
When asked which kinds of people should be allowed to enter the UK in October, Mr Farage said: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start.”
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