Nigel Farage Would Axe ‘Much of’ Race Discrimination Laws

BBC News, March 12, 2015

UKIP would scrap much of the legislation designed to prevent racial discrimination in work, party leader Nigel Farage has said.

He was speaking in a Channel 4 documentary to be shown next week.

Downing Street said his comments were “deeply concerning”, while Labour branded them “shocking”.

Mr Farage told the BBC his remarks, recorded last autumn, had been “wilfully misinterpreted”, saying he was talking about nationality not race.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme he said he was making the point that employers should be able to discriminate in favour of British workers.

“I didn’t mention race at all. There was no part of that interview which I ever said it at all.

“What I said was that I do believe there should be a presumption for British employers in favour of them employing British people as opposed to somebody from Poland. That is exactly what I said,” he added.

The Channel 4 programme makers say they have not misrepresented Mr Farage’s views.

“He was asked a direct question on whether there would be a law against discrimination on the grounds of race or colour and he replied no,” they said.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said Mr Farage was “backing away” from what were perhaps the “most contentious” remarks in the documentary, aware of the “fury” they had caused.

“In that documentary he was talking about scrapping equalities legislation, now he’s talking about reframing employment legislation; they are two entirely different things,” he said.


Mr Farage’s original comments came during an interview with the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, for a Channel 4 documentary called Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True.

He said that while concern over preventing racial discrimination in employment “would probably have been valid” 40 years ago, it is not today.

“If I talked to my children… about the question of race, they wouldn’t know what I was talking about,” he was reported to say.

He also said he would get rid of “much of” existing legislation.

And when asked if he would retain a ban on discrimination on the grounds of race or colour, he said: “No… because we take the view, we are colour-blind. We as a party are colour-blind.”

Criticising recruitment laws, he said: “I think the employer should be much freer to make decisions on who she or he employs.

“I think the situation that we now have, where an employer is not allowed to choose between a British-born person and somebody from Poland, is a ludicrous state of affairs.

“I would argue that the law does need changing, and that if an employer wishes to choose, or you can use the word ‘discriminate’ if you want to, but wishes to choose to employ a British-born person, they should be allowed to do so.”

Asked about his remarks on Today, Mr Farage said: “My comments have been wilfully misinterpreted. I have made no comments about the Race Relations Act at all.

“I have made comments in favour of British people getting jobs over and above those from southern eastern Europe.”

The UKIP leader said he was speaking up for Britain’s unemployed youth “both black and white”, saying the young black community had suffered the biggest rise in unemployment as a result of immigration.

He said Gordon Brown, as Labour prime minister, spoke of British jobs for British workers, adding: “Well I’m saying it and really meaning it.”

The prime minister, David Cameron, condemned Mr Farage’s calls to scrap equalities legislation as “completely wrong and frankly pretty appalling”.

He said the laws were there to protect people from being discriminated against on the basis of the colour of their skin.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the UKIP leader’s comments were “wrong, divisive and dangerous”, and accused him of “stoking up division”.

The party’s justice spokesman Sadiq Khan accused Mr Farage of “breathtaking ignorance” and told the BBC it was troubling to hear a mainstream politician make such comments.

During his regular LBC radio phone-in, Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he “strongly disagreed” with Mr Farage, who he said was “irresponsible” to conflate issues with employment legislation to problems like violent extremism and Sharia law.

And Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey accused the UKIP leader of “dangerous crude dog whistle politics”.

There were 3,064 racial discrimination in the workplace cases lodged in 2013-14, down from 4,818 in the previous year.

The sharp fall came in the same year the government introduced fees to begin proceedings at an Employment Tribunal, to reduce their numbers.

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Unfortunately, after last week, I really can’t trust Nigel Farage any farther than I could throw him. Vote UKIP? I still would. Expectations? Few.

    • Brady

      I’d stick with the BNP myself

    • David Ashton

      Symbolic effect. The “fury” won’t be shared by the majority of the electorate. A vote for Farage and his men (even Carswell) may start the shift the log-jam. The old party careerists and financial puppets say that a Vote for Kippers instead of “Tories” means an SNP-Labour government, but a lot of ex-Labour voters in northern England will vote Kipper, The long-term problem is that NONE of them have a real answer to the economic or foreign-policy problems of overcrowded Britain, and there is not much sense in swapping Brussels for Beijing.

    • Charles Martel

      Maybe you should work out more then you could trust more. He is more charismatic than Nick Griffon the only acceptable alternative.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      I agree, his capitulation on immigration is very disappointing. But UKIP is probably still the best shot Britain has so I’d still vote for them too. I just hope Farage keeps the backbone he’s showing in regards to his comments on racial discrimination laws.

    • Light from the East

      This is democracy. You cannot have a leader that meets all of your expectations so at least you vote for the one shares the closest value with you. If you don’t vote, you automatically let your opponents get the chance. Don’t let your feeling prevent you from voting the candidate who is at least acceptable.

  • Ron Cheaters

    He should never be in the position to be having this conversation* in the first place.

    *conversation is making a somewhat benign comment blown all the way out of proportion and speculation and projecting words and opinions into someone’s mouth. I mean exaggeration is easily dealt with, but this is exaggeration of the exaggerations.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      I agree. And by extension, we should not be reading it, engaging with it, or commenting on it.

      Next! (If you have anything worth my time)

      • Ron Cheaters

        that should be Farage’s response

  • IstvanIN

    Picking on Poles and south-eastern Europeans makes me unhappy, then again to mention Pakistanis, Muslims and Africans would be illegal. Too bad the UK doesn’t have free speech so that someone could come out and say England for the English, Wales for the Welsh, Scotland for the Scots – Great Britain for the British!

    • LHathaway

      Wales for the English, Scottish and Welch. Scotland for the English, Welsh and Scottish. England for everyone. I sure hope those on the mainland are able to fill in the Chunnel.

  • Dont_Gruber_Me

    Amazing that when someone makes a common sense statement the lefties go nuts.

    • Jaggers

      But let’s not give them too much credit: the outrage is totally feigned.

  • Fed Up

    I wouldn’t call it “shocking.” I would just call the comments years overdue!

    Liberal “thinking” is enough to make intelligent people gag!

  • People in the media and other parties deliberately fail to see that UKIP are essentially born out of classic “Conservatives”, Whigs and libertarians.

    These are people who generally believe in “small government”, fewer regulations, and don’t believe in forcing people to hire people they do not want to hire, meeting diversity quotas (like the BBC and Channel Four have in their official employment rules), or believe in forcing people to think a certain way.

    For them to suggest the party is ‘racist’ or wanting to scrap this kind of nonsense is ridiculous, so is the notion that the country would erupt into some kind of “racist” -driven “horror” if pieces of legislation were repealed – but that’s what you get in the shrill land of liberalism.

    They make it sound, purposefully, that Nigel Farage wants people to go out and victimise their work colleagues over their race and prevent those people from being able to stop it. But this is not the case, and nor would UKIP ever propose or agree to such things.

    Apart from the libertarian notions I mention above, he has contextualised it today in various interviews in that he wants to put British people first in their own country and give them a better crack of the whip at training and employment.

    This means giving preferential treatment to British workers (in his words, of all colours now living here) – something which is no doubt illegal under these kinds of laws and legislations he wants to abolish.

    “British Jobs for British Workers”. That’s the way it should be in any sane country. That the others do not think so shows us more about where their loyalties lay, rather than Nigel Farage.

    When Labour stole the “British Jobs for British Workers” slogan off the National Front and the BNP, the members of the Labour party were not out saying it was “causing fear” and that it was “ignorant”. When UKIP say it, all hysteria breaks loose.

    UKIP are not a Nationalist party. They are not a “racist” themed party. They are a party of traditional Conservatism and Libertarianism, who do not believe in the claptrap pushed by the others, whether domestic or foreign policy. For this alone, no matter how weak they are, they are made into being some kind of bogeyman.

    • LHathaway

      Sad, but likely true.

    • Charles Martel

      I thought Labour’s slogan was “Indigenous little white girls for 3rd world moslems”

    • I was told that the movement against Poles in the UK is partially because it is “easy” or “safe” to discriminate against white Poles on the basis of nationality. This serves as an alternative for discriminating against Pakistanis or Africans which is illegal because of race.

      It doesn’t matter that most Poles are hard working, honest, people and will integrate fully into British society eventually, it is nice and legal to discriminate against whites but not against people of color. It is similar to the US where our defective immigration policies serve very nicely to keep white Afrikaners out who are fleeing extermination in South Africa, yet lets 10’s of millions of Mexicans in who have no net good to offer the US.

      This being said, a country should have the right to protect its nationality and the British should take steps to preserve the their nationality: if this means letting in less Poles, then so be it. However, its just a game to try to restrict Poles and not restrict non-integrating people of colored races and Muslims.

      Of course I am naturally sympathetic to Poles, being (half) Polish myself. My ancestors came to the US ca. 1905 & my Dad flew a B-25 bomber in WW-II.

      • Yeah, I don’t think UKIP are any kind of solution to our real problems, and one has to hope that their rhetoric over Poles all the time is just expediency.

        However, I tend to take UKIP at their word in that they would like to restrict European immigration and would not mind more ‘commonwealth’ immigration if they can speak English etc.

        Again, one hopes that they are talking about Canadians, New Zealanders, Australia and other such historical ties to our own peoples. Yet with the likes of Douglas Carswell and rafts of other former Tories in their ranks, I would take that with a pinch of salt too.

        Regarding Western Spring, although I am generally faltering with the whole cause and have not got the required enthusiasm for it at the moment, I have been a member for at least the last 18 months, I am still (just about) contributing, and I used to visit the site regularly.

  • antiquesunlight

    Ok, do it and I’ll believe it.

  • George Moriarty

    I personally don’t think there has been any sensible discussion on race matters in the UK since the days of Enoch Powell. In the above article we see a Brit being compared with a Pole, that is not racism or even a race issue. If Farage had mentioned for instance local councils giving taxpayer funded jobs to Pakistanis and Somalis over British (As in white Anglo Saxon) young people there may have been a real issue as well as some public sympathy for his cause.
    The other problem with UK politics is that both major parties need the support of the Liberal Party to stay in office. The Libs in the UK are very left wing and pro immigration and as a result immigration and race concerns will not be an issue for either major party. Both parties will just continue to take a moral high ground while ignoring the destruction of the Britain they once knew.
    As mentioned in another comment the BNP is the only real organization that is taking any sort of stand on these issues, unfortunately their support base is still very low and they face total media hostility.

  • LHathaway

    So, in a nation where every single person of color is very eligible for ‘positive action’ even those just off the boat, or even male job seekers considering relocating to England, this MP is in trouble for saying it’s OK to discriminate. The rest of England agrees with him. It’s OK, even a great step, to discriminate against Whites in the UK

  • I wonder how “shocked” the faux-Labor party would be if Britain’s foreign freeloaders were forced to actually perform useful work.

    • John Smith

      Amazing how much a “Labour” party supports welfare….

  • superlloyd

    Scrap the whole race relations industry and the useless, pontificating, wealth destroying marxists that love interfering in people’s lives and livelihoods. Let the parasites get proper jobs for once. Stacking supermarket shelves or cleaning toilets is about their level.

    • notyranny

      Keep speaking the Truth.

  • UncleSham

    Nigel Farage sounds like an average Republican.

    • John Smith

      Talking out both sides of his mouth.

      • UncleSham

        Its hard to stand up for your people when you ‘don’t see race’.

    • aintnodarnfool

      Goldwater perhaps. Republicans are lesser-paid democrats fearful they will not be able to benefit as much from the rising equality-based race to the bottom.

  • KenelmDigby

    It must be remembered that *all* so-called ‘race relations’ legislation in the UK was passed by Labour governments.
    At the time of passing the legislation, the Conservatives officially opposed it, on the grounds of ‘personal freedom’. But, alas, no Conservative government has ever repealed any Labour Party race laws once they assumed office.

    • Epiminondas

      They sound just like Republican “conservatives”, don’t they?

  • John Smith

    I guess his being in favor of importing more of the refuse from Britain’s crumbled empire didn’t go over so well with the base.

  • MathMan

    When the last British Labour prime minister, Gordon brown, said ‘British jobs for British workers’ he was cheered by his followers. Nigel Farage says the same thing and Labour cries foul. What utter hypocrisy!

  • david dorian

    Discrimination is choice. And choice is freedom.

    Freedom of association, freedom in who I work. live and build a country with. Also freedom to choose who I DON’T want to live with. BAsic freedom

    Anti-racist is just a codeword for anti-white.

  • LHathaway

    I’m pretty sure both Scotland and Wales will open their doors to any whites in the UK. White extinction will not be complete in the UK. Scotland and Wales will be reservations for Whites there – have to appease those traditionalists.

  • John Smith

    Refuse like Pakis and Jamaicans.