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Video: UKIP's David McNarry says call to deport foreign doctors for parking offences was just response to 'silly line of questioning' in BBC radio interview

Published 11/04/2016

The UKIP leader in Northern Ireland issued a statement clarifying his stance after saying foreign doctors and nurses who get parking tickets, should be deported.

David McNarry was speaking on the Stephen Nolan BBC Radio Ulster Radio show about his party's manifesto for the forthcoming Assembly election.

In it, it says foreigners who commit a crime in the UK should be deported.

Asked if a "hard-working" Polish surgeon who received a parking ticket should be deported, Mr McNarry replied "yes".

"He has broken the law," said the Strangford MLA, who is not seeking re-election.

He also said it would include those who got speeding tickets.

Mr McNarry said a crime endorsed by a court should lead to foreign nationals being deported from Northern Ireland.

He added: "It's called claiming back your country."

Mr McNarry said he was "playing along" with Stephen Nolan, but denied back-tracking.

"It's a great time to be hospitable and be nice to every one else when you have your own house in order," he said.

"There are too many gaps in our own house and people are really aware of it.

"We can't have ISIS running our country."

After the interview, Mr McNarry said UKIP's policy was that anyone convicted of a "serious offence" would be deported and he was responding to a "silly line of questioning geared more toward entertainment then public information."

Responding the union NIPSA branded the comments "clear xenophobia".

Bumper Graham said: "David McNarry is out of touch and not living in the real world.

"He is the one that should be deported, because that is where his comments should be - there is no place for them.

"His comments are a disgrace, he should apologise and he should retract them."

Just after noon on Monday, Mr McNarry issued a statement saying he needed to clarify his remarks saying he was responding to a "silly line of questioning".

He said: "Clearly, no-one should be deported for a minor offence.

"It is only where a very serious offence occurs, followed by due process and subsequent conviction in the courts, that anyone should be deported.

"This morning’s remarks were part of what I considered a silly line of questioning taking an extreme example and blowing it out of all proportion.

"I wanted Stephen Nolan to consider UKIP’s deportation policy seriously and not in an extreme light as he did, geared more to entertainment rather than public information.

"Let me make the position absolutely crystal clear – UKIP would not deport anyone for anything other than a serious offence followed by due process and conviction in the courts. That is UKIP policy on deportation.

"UKIP have serious policies on migration and deportation."

He added: "The facts cannot be denied – that nearly 140,000 national insurance cards have been issued and registered here to people born outside the UK since 2000 and that represents nearly 19% of our 720,000 workforce.

"Youth unemployment here stands at 22%, which is 50% higher than the figure of 14% in England.

"Parents the length and breadth of Northern Ireland are worried that their children cannot get a job, a home or a future and migration is contributing to that.”

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