UKIP MP: Farage’s comments about HIV-positive migrants were ‘ill advised’
UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell has described the use of HIV positive migrants to “highlight the problem of health tourism” by party leader Nigel Farage as “ill advised”.
During last month’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.
UKIP’s MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell was later berated on Question Time by Piers Morgan for continuing to defend the comments.
Writing in the Times, Mr Carswell described leading a political party as “a remarkably tricky thing to do”. He wrote the fact that Farage has remained party leader “makes me admire [him] all the more.”
But he went on to describe the comments about HIV-positive migrants as “ill advised.
“Politics is about persuasion. And getting noticed isn’t enough to win over people. You need the right tone. At times, UKIP has failed to strike the right tone. By all means we should highlight the problem of health tourism. But we need to admit that using the example of HIV patients to make the point was ill-advised.
“UKIP has been at its most persuasive when we have been most optimistic. Anger is never a great way to motivate people — at least not for very long.”
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He went on: “UKIP has arrived — and UKIP is here to stay.”
Of Mr Farage remaining as party leader, despite pledging to step down if he lost in South Thanet at last week’s general election, Mr carswell wrote: “On Monday, UKIP’s national executive committee made a decision to reinstate Nigel as party leader. Yet even leaders need to take a break. Nigel needs to take a break now.”
The politician made good on his pledge to step down if he failed to become an MP – but had a change of heart, after being persuaded to stay by the party’s execs.