Fiery immigration debate during Question Time

Question Time panel: Vicky Pryce, Nigel Farage, Emily Thornberry, David Dimbleby, Anna Soubry and Benjamin Zephaniah
Question Time panel: Vicky Pryce, Nigel Farage, Emily Thornberry, David Dimbleby, Anna Soubry and Benjamin Zephaniah

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage came under fire from an audience member on BBC Question Time last night (Thursday) when he was told to ‘stop scare mongering’ during a debate about immigration.

The audience member pointed to a recent OECD report which said ‘migrants have been beneficial to the country, not in a negative way’ and said: “Please Mr Farage, stop scaremongering the majority of people.

“You talked about, let’s have a grown up debate, let’s have a grown up debate with facts, not scare mongering.”

Farage however said he was ‘astonished’ by the amount of population growth which had come and said they were worried about the arrival of Romanians and Bulgarians coming in next year and added he believed people were being ‘priced out of the market’.

One Foreign man said fellow newcomers didn’t want to speak English and said integration ‘doesn’t exist’.

Another member of the audience said immigrant teenagers, who ended up being more fluent English speakers, suffered anxiety after taking on adult roles in the family because of language difficulties encountered by their parents.

They said the teenagers tend to take on the responsibilty of talking to local authorities and doctors and helping to pay the bills.

Rastafarian poet Benjamin Zephaniah said he remembered coming to Boston and not hearing any English – he made two TV programmes here – he said during filming he had spoken to a farmer who told him he’d prefer to employ locals but couldn’t.

The other panel members last night were Junior defence minister Anna Soubry, shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry, and Vicky Pryce, who was jailed for perverting the course of justice after taking former cabinet minister husband Chris Huhne’s speeding points.

Other topics during the show focussed on ship building jobs being lost in Portsmouth and Scotland, where Mr Farage and Mrs Soubry clashed on the use of Korea to provide supply ships to the armed forces.

They also discussed whether to ban the burkha and government snooping on emails.

The Standard had hundreds of responses on it’s Twitter and Facebook pages as the debate rumbled on into the night.

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