A UKIP councillor has denied a national newspaper’s claims that she is racist - and hit out at her former husband and David Cameron in a statement released to The Standard today (Sunday).
Victoria Ayling features on the front page of today’s Mail on Sunday in a story headlined “Send Them All Back Home”. The report centres on a video in which she appears to state that immigrants should all be sent back to their country of origin.
Coun Ayling, who represents the Spilsby Fen ward and lives in Stickford, said she has never thought this but merely believes that anyone in the country illegally should be deported.
She said the video was shot by her ‘scorned’ ex husband in 2008 and said at the time she was ‘struggling under the confused leadership of David Cameron’s Conservative Party’ at the time, when she feels there was no clear policy on immigration.
Coun Ayling sparked headlines when she confronted Mr Cameron at the Conservative Party conference earlier this year to tell him why she was leaving to join UKIP.
Coun Ayling’s statement in full:
“The Mail on Sunday have run an article stating that I have made a video in which I express views that all immigrants should be repatriated.
This is not the case.
The article is based on a transcript of a video I was making which was being filmed by my now ex-husband in 2008 when I was in the Conservative Party.
The article is written in a manner which makes it sound as if I made this video on behalf of Nigel Farage rather than as a candidate struggling under the confused leadership of David Cameron’s Conservative Party. I believe this insinuation to be beneath the press.
At that time, under the leadership of David Cameron, there was no clear policy on immigration. Rather, there were two polar views widely held and no sensible, centre ground. The first was the attitude of ‘do nothing’ which as someone who lives in an area negatively affected by mass immigration was simply not a line I was prepared to take.
The other view was the extreme position that all immigration was bad.
During the process of making this video I struggled to find the right words to express the views I held which were that we needed a sensible immigration policy and must not be afraid to deport those who come here illegally or who fail the asylum process. It is often the case in finding the correct words to use that one takes the views from both sides of the argument and balances them out to find a sensible position. This is what I was doing. At no point in my life have I ever thought that all immigration was bad and all immigrants in the UK should be deported.
Since then I have found that there was already a party with the middle ground: UKIP. That is why I joined Nigel Farage’s party in 2012 and spent time discussing policies with him. I am certain that someone of Mr Farage’s position would have no scruples in telling me if he thought my views were extreme and that I was unwelcome. The fact is that the Conservative Party is still plagued by infighting on the issue of immigration which, as we in UKIP have made clear, is directly linked to our membership of the European Union.
It is no secret that the area in which I live and represent as a county councillor shocked the political establishment when they voted en masse for UKIP in May of this year. I intend to stand for a seat in 2015 and will not be letting the bitterness of ex partners or the fear of political opponents stop the people of this area having the opportunity to vote for a party which has a clear set of common sense policies.
If indeed this transcript and video was made available with the knowledge of the Conservative Party to the Mail on Sunday, then it highlights once again that the Conservative Party is a divided party.
I have been overwhelmed with the messages of support I have been receiving, particularly via social media and was very interested to read that many people – women in particular – read between the lines of this story and saw a man scorned and a woman trying to make her way in politics being used and caught in the cross fire of a party still trying to position itself after many years.”