New Ukip councillor blames Romanians for thefts in town
Last updated at 14:37, Wednesday, 21 May 2014
A Cumbrian councillor who joined Ukip has claimed Romanians are “a problem” and responsible for theft in Aspatria.
Allerdale’s David Wilson waded into the Ukip race row, defending Nigel Farage’s comments about Romanians.
He went as far as claiming that people from the Eastern European country had caused problems in his constituency of Aspatria, accusing them of theft.
Mr Wilson is one of three independent Allerdale councillors to announce that they have this week joined the UK Independence Party. Wigton’s George Scott and Binky Armstrong are the others.
His comments come on the back of Ukip leader Nigel Farage’s controversial suggestion that he would be concerned if a group of Romanians moved in next door – comments branded by some as racist.
But defending him, Mr Wilson told the News & Star: “He’s making a statement based on facts. He’s mentioned the Romanians. We know we’ve a problem in this country with Romanians. We had them here in Aspatria, knocking on doors and stealing things. That’s a fact. They were definitely Romanians.”
Former policeman Mr Wilson added: “I do not believe Ukip is racist. I’m not and never have been.”
George Scott also defended Mr Farage, saying he was speaking freely and the comments had been taken out context. “I don’t think he’s racist. He’s saying what a lot of people up and down the country would love to say but don’t. They bite their lip,” he said.
The News & Star asked Cumbria police if there had been a specific problem with Romanians committing crimes in north Cumbria, but the force declined to comment on a matter of political interest.
A spokeswoman said: “We recognise the importance of policing and law and order issues in the run-up to an election and we anticipate that a range of perspectives and opinions will be aired. It is not for police to involve themselves in electoral campaigns.”
Last January the force issued a warning about gangs of Romanians shoplifting in the county, but nothing since.
The office of Cumbria’s Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said, as it was an operational policing matter, he could not comment. However his spokeswoman said she was not aware of any such issue being raised at the executive crime board meetings.
Mr Scott believes the media is unfairly demonising Ukip, but believes the coverage is actually driving more people – including himself – to join.
Binky Armstrong added that he has no problem about being associated with Ukip, stressing that its leaders aren’t trained politicians but ordinary business people.
The three new Ukip councilors join Maryport’s George Kemp, taking the total now on Allerdale council to four.
All three men say one of the main reasons they have joined is to challenge the decisions being made on a local level by the ruling Labour party, which they claim is neglecting people in north Allerdale.
Mr Wilson said: “I didn’t join to boost Nigel Farage. I joined to bring democracy back to local government. The problem is the current executive at Allerdale is party-whipped.”
The make-up of Allerdale council now stands at 27 Labour, 12 Conservative, 13 Independent and four Ukip councillors.
First published at 14:36, Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
It's all over now until next year when the protest voters revert back to their Labour, Tory, Lib Dem candidates.
Ian H asks me why I'm being so 'silly' in not seeing that his invented term 'Liblabcons' means the three main political parties, whose manifestos are 'indistinguishable'. Either Ian is staggeringly ignorant and politically naive - or he's pulling our legs. I suspect the latter. I can't bring myself to believe in such puerile political codswallop - it can't be possible.
View all 134 comments on this article