The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has promised a “better quality” of migrant for the UK, declaring that those with “terminal diseases” will be turned away at the border.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage set out his party’s immigration policy as the countdown began for the 7 May elections, a poll that is set to be the most fractious in a generation.
He told party faithful in London: “The vast majority of British people want change, they want us to control not just the quantity but crucially the quality of who comes to this country. We want people who have not got criminal records, people who have not got a life threatening illness, and people who when they come bring with them medical insurance.”
Mr Farage has previously proposed denying entry to migrants with HIV.
Mr Farage also said that his party would bring net migration numbers to between 20,000 and 50,000 despite the Conservatives spectacular recent failure to bring the number down to 100,000.
He later said that UKIP’s numbers were “ballpark” figures that would be used as a guideline. The party, he said, would instead focus on strong immigration policies, including disallowing those with terminal illnesses.
However Steven Woolfe, the party’s immigration spokesman, later appeared to contradict his leader when he clarified UKIP’s stance.
Mr Woolfe told the Telegraph: “If someone comes to the border, say an asylum seeker for example who is ill, we are not going to turn them away. The principle is in place that – we want a system that everyone who comes has to have an insurance policy.”