Election 2015: UKIP candidate for St Albans Chris Wright
- Credit: Archant
Despite his party’s constant criticism of immigrants, UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for St Albans Chris Wright does not consider them a scourge upon the nation.
But he advocates a tougher, Australian-style immigration system to exert better control of the UK’s borders.
Asked about his solution to stem the free-flow of immigrants, particularly those exploiting this country’s welfare benefits, Chris replied: “It’s where UKIP puts its core policy, which is to control various immigrants coming from the EU.”
He said there are ‘millions’ of people in the EU who have the right settle here, “and we can do nothing about it.
“But of course this country is a great place to live; it’s a lovely part of the world and you don’t really blame people for wanting to come here and take up residency. The challenge though is how many can we accept before we suffer from overcrowding and a lack of school spaces.
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“We would adopt an Australian-style system, limit the numbers of people coming in here to slowly but surely accommodate our own people and look after ourselves.”
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Asked whether he supported migrants moving to the UK at all, Chris replied: “Of course - we are a nation of immigrants. We all probably have some migrant background. I know that my great-great-grandfather came from Dublin and so part of me is an immigrant as well.
“The trouble is, where do you stop? How do you control it?
“We don’t want to stop [immigrants] picking potatoes. The important thing is if you put in Australian type controls, where people apply to come to the country and businesses can indicate they need specialist workers, they will ask for them and a UKIP government would control that.”
In response to a reader’s question about UKIP showing a lack of compassion by proposing a cut to foreign aid, Chris said that his party believes money is being ‘wasted’ on countries where there is corruption.
He added: “We can’t tolerate giving money to third world dictators who spend money on flats in Paris and feeding themselves.”
The party would still contribute funds, “but it will go on proper aid, clean water projects and building hospitals.”
The pressure to supply thousands of homes in St Albans in the future “is a real worry,” according to Chris.
He said: “Demand is greater than supply because of immigration. I’m absolutely against building on the Green Belt; giving away our lungs. We need space between the towns, and to grow our own food and vegetables. UKIP will protect the Green Belt.
“UKIP would facilitate more building on brownfield sites, such as giving grants to help decontaminate areas up to £10,000 per project and remove VAT on development costs.”
Chris said: “UKIP is often [criticised] for a lack of compassion. UKIP believes in looking after the needy.
“We need to give them a hand up, but not a hand-out.
“After we have controlled immigration, which will ease a lot of the demand we have, we have to build houses, and encourage prosperity.”
With the ever-present need to expand school capacity in St Albans, Chris said the key was to control demand first by, “limiting the number of immigrants we have to cater for”.
UKIP would reintroduce grammar schools.