Belfast Telegraph

DUP Sammy Wilson full statement response over Spotlight remarks

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has issued a statement in relation to comments made on a BBC Spotlight programme which is set to be shown tonight.

Mr Wilson said: “My party has already made its views public regarding the attempt by BBC to link me with remarks about members of the ethnic community. Equally I have stated my position that I in no way agree with the comments about “ethnics” which were carried in the Spotlight programme.

Indeed anyone who knows me and the wide range of friends I have within the Chinese community and the Pakistani community will know that I do not in any way endorse views about getting the ethnics out. The reporter knew this because he questioned me on the issue of immigration though chose to ignore my responses to his questions.

When I stated that I absolutely agreed with the individual I was referring to his answer to my question about whether we should leave the EU. I cannot even say with certainty that I picked up on the rest of his remarks not an unusual reaction given that the conversation was about the EU referendum. Furthermore I knew that I was being recorded, filmed and followed by the reporter.  I am experienced enough to know that any endorsement of such a view would be major news so even if I had agreed with the sentiments (which of course I don’t ) I was hardly likely to put that on record.   

It is significant that the BBC had to pick a thirty second conversation out of two and a half hours of filming in order to generate controversy. Of course given that organisation’s pro EU stance it comes as no surprise that individuals within it wish to detract from the compelling arguments for leaving the EU by painting those who wish to vote leave as racists. 

The DUP stance is clear. We value those who have come to our country and make a contribution to our economy in the health sector, manufacturing or hospitality etc. The UK government alone should have control of our borders and who we allow to come and live in the UK. Our position on this issue is reasonable and compassionate despite how the BBC seeks to twist it.”

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