More red faces at UKIP after 'coloured' slur
UKIP have suffered further embarrassment after one of its Cornwall councillors repeatedly used the archaic and offensive term "coloured" during a television interview about immigration.
Councillor Viv Lewis, who was elected earlier this year to represent Camborne Treswithian, made the comments in an interview broadcast during the BBC's Sunday Politics South West.
It comes just days after controversial UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom had the whip withdrawn after calling women at a conference event "sluts".
And it follows the long-running row involving Cornwall councillor Collin Brewer who stood down twice after saying disabled children should be "put down" and then compared them to deformed lambs.
Asked about immigration, 83-year-old Coun Lewis said: "I have already had heated arguments about that. Racist I am not. I like coloured people. I have been to the West Indies. I have sampled their hospitality. I like coloured people.
"But what I don't like is people who walk into this country and immediately get given money when there's a lot more deserving cases among English, British people."
Alex Folkes, the Liberal Democrat's deputy leader at County Hall and a member of the Cabinet, said he had been "shocked" by the interview.
He said: "Unreconstructed is the most sympathetic way I could describe his language. Certainly for a council that has been through all we have with Collin Brewer, it is no help whatsoever. Clearly he is a backbench UKIP councillor but even so it is the sort of attitude and language we need to take action on."
The Runnymede Trust, the UK's leading independent race equality think tank, said Coun Lewis's language was "outmoded".
"The term 'coloured' has largely been rejected by people from visible ethnic minorities as a useful description," director Rob Berkeley said. "By using the term the councillor appears to be out of touch with modern Britain.
"While we welcome new voices in politics, I hope that UKIP can support their councillors so that they do not risk offending their constituents with such outmoded language. While we differ with UKIP policy on migration, there is a debate to be had, but it must be conducted respectfully and not stir up racial prejudice."
When contacted by the Western Morning News, Coun Lewis said: "When I was growing up, with children from elsewhere, it was quite acceptable. You couldn't call them black then but apparently you can now.
"My problem is I haven't caught up with the diplomatic jargon and I didn't realise it is considered offensive these days. I want to apologise to any one that was offended. It is not something you will hear me say again."