Farage 'used N-word to dismiss black vote': New race row hits Ukip after claims by its founder
- Professor Alan Sked said Ukip leader's remarks over Romanians 'backs up what I have always said'
- Mr Farage denies the claims, calling them 'absurd'
- He offers semi-apology over comments about Romanian during radio interview, saying he was 'tired'
- One survey taken yesterday says party will triumph in Thursday's European elections
The founder of Ukip last night revived claims that Nigel Farage repeatedly used the n-word when referring to black voters – as the party was plunged into turmoil over allegations of racism.
Professor Alan Sked said a storm of controversy provoked by Mr Farage’s remarks last week about Romanians ‘backs up what I have always said’ about the Ukip leader’s private views on race.
‘He told me, “We needn’t worry about the n****r vote”,’ Professor Sked told the Daily Mail. ‘He added: “The n**-n**s will never vote for us.”’
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Distanced: Ukip founder Professor Alan Sked, who revived claims that leader Nigel Farage repeatedly used the N-word when referring to black voters
The professor of international history at the London School of Economics added: ‘His comments were made when he was urging me to allow former National Front candidates to stand for Ukip [in 1997]. I refused.’
Professor Sked resigned as Ukip leader in 1997 because of what he said was a growing influence of the far-Right in the party’s ranks.
Denial: Mr Farage said the claims made by Professor Sked were 'absurd'
‘They are obsessed by immigration, Islam and race. When I first reported that Farage had used those words, he got [disgraced publicist] Max Clifford to ring up the newspaper [in which the report appeared] and threaten to sue. He never did.’
Professor Sked’s claims, which were denied as ‘absurd’ by Mr Farage, came amid chaos in Ukip ranks over a ‘car crash’ radio interview the party leader gave last week.
Over the weekend, Ukip was defiant over Mr Farage’s suggestion on LBC radio on Friday that he would feel uncomfortable if Romanians moved in next door.
Challenged over the difference between Romanians and Germans, the Ukip leader, who is married to a German and has bilingual children, retorted: ‘You know what the difference is.’
But last night Mr Farage offered a semi-apology, though aides said he stood by his central suggestion that Romanian immigrants were responsible for a crime wave.
‘I regret the fact that I was completely tired out. I didn’t use the form of words in response that I would have liked to have used,’ he told ITV News.
Labour leader Ed Miliband insisted the Ukip leader was guilty of a ‘racial slur’.
‘I think his remarks he made were deeply offensive ... I think they were a racial slur,’ Mr Miliband said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Mr Farage’s mask was beginning to slip, and ‘behind the beer-swilling bonhomie is a really nasty view of the world’.
Despite a slew of allegations of racism, misogyny and homophobia against Ukip candidates, polls suggest Ukip could be on the cusp of a historic victory in Thursday’s European elections.
Criticism: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Mr Farage’s mask was beginning to slip while David Cameron condemned his remarks about Romanians as 'frankly unpleasant'
A ComRes survey yesterday put Ukip ahead with the support of 35 per cent of those certain to vote – 11 points ahead of Labour.
However, an ICM poll suggested Ukip had slipped to third place behind Labour and the Conservatives. A third poll for YouGov, which has placed Ukip ahead of Labour in polls for the European elections four times, yesterday had them one point behind. Labour were on 27 per cent, Ukip on 26 per cent and the Conservatives on 23 per cent.
A spokesman for Mr Farage said of Professor Sked’s claims, which he first made in 2005: ‘There is no truth to these allegations and never has been. Many observers would be forgiven for feeling Professor Sked simply cannot come to terms with a party he founded but fronted with very little success being on the verge of a massive breakthrough in British politics.
‘We will not allow his frequent regurgitation of this absurd claim to deflect us from our work.’
David Cameron yesterday shied away from direct criticism of Mr Farage, having condemned his remarks about Romanians as ‘frankly unpleasant’.
He said the Conservatives had a ‘very clear message’ for the European elections ‘which is “look, Labour and the Liberals think there is nothing wrong with Europe, Ukip think there’s nothing right, we think you’ve got to get stuck in, change it, get a better deal for Britain and give people a referendum”.’
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