Farage: ‘Basic principle’ of Rivers of Blood speech was right

Nigel Farage has come in for renewed criticism, after he said the "basic principle" of Enoch Powell's infamous Rivers of Blood speech was "right".

Appearing on Sky News' Murnaghan programme yesterday, the Ukip leader nodded his head while being read extracts of the speech without being told what it was.

When he was told that the words came from one of the most widely-criticised anti-immigration speeches of the 20th Century, Farage said: "Well what he was warning about was the large influx of people into an area, that change an area beyond recognition, there is tension – the basic principle is right.

"For different reasons, and on a completely different scale. When immigration was being discussed in the 60s, 70s and 80s we were talking about an annual net inflow to the country of between 30 and 50,000 people a year.

"What we have had in the last 13 years is net four million extra migrants coming to Britain."

The comment comes just weeks after business secretary Vince Cable said David Cameron's inconsistent rhetoric on immigration was comparable to the 1968 speech and risked making British voters "schizophrenic" about the issue.

Cable went on to accuse the Tories of anti-immigrant rhetoric comparable to anti-Semitic panics in the early 20th century.

Farage found himself in a tight spot during his first media interviews of 2014, after the tidal wave of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants he had been predicting for much of last year failed to materialise on January 1st.