UKIP leader Nigel Farage sparked protests on Friday after telling a magazine that migrants with HIV should be prevented from entering the UK.
Farage told Newsweek magazine in an interview published late Thursday that people with HIV should be barred, along with murderers.
Asked to define the quality of people he would allow into Britain, Farage said: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill.”
Speaking as UKIP won its first elected seat in parliament, the party leader also said: “That Latvian convicted murderer shouldn?t have been allowed here.”
Labour MP David Lammy said on Friday Farage was “trying to revive the very worst bigotry” of the 1980s.
Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, condemned Farage for bracketing people who had tested positive for HIV with murderers.
“The idea that having HIV should be used as a black mark against someone?s name is ridiculous and shows an outrageous lack of understanding of the issue,” The Guardian newspaper quoted her as saying.
“It is to the UK?s credit that for more than three decades successive governments, no matter their political stamp, have refused to put in place border controls against people living with HIV,” Gillespie said
Douglas Carswell, who defected to UKIP from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party in August, was elected on Thursday with 60 percent of the vote in a by-election in Clacton-on-Sea.
Farage also told Newsweek he would like to be minister for Europe if UKIP joins the government following next year’s scheduled general election.
“What I will say is this: if things go well next spring, I would like to be Minister for Europe,” he said.
“I would like to be the person who goes to Brussels and says, ‘We want to trade with you. We want reciprocal relationships. But this European Treaty doesn’t work for us, and so we are breaking it,” the magazine quoted him as saying.