UKIP’s David Jones – elected to the new ABC super-council – has put his success down to Portadown being “deeply dissatisfied with the uncontrolled immigration that has taken over large swathes of the town”.
Speaking after he squeezed home on the last count in the Portadown DEA, Mr Jones claimed that many parts of the town had lost their sense of community – “they are being almost ghettoised” – as a result of the EU policies of migration all over Europe.
“Sadly, it has been the biggest issue that met me on the doorstep,” said Mr Jones, one of three UKIP councillors to make it into the 11 super councils. “Local people are moving out of areas where they have been brought up and lived most of their lives.
“Portadown is not that big a town and cannot continue to sustain this uncontrolled immigration. I am not being racist. I am not speaking about immigrants who have something to offer the UK - people like doctors, nurses, care workers, tradespeople, research scientists, hard-working people at all levels.
“I welcome people who enrich our community and have something to offer. What we do not need are health and benefits tourists, visiting a land of milk and honey – who abuse the system for which local people have paid for over the years.”
He added that, in fact, many migrants were being exploited – “they are being paid at a very low rate, are living in poor conditions – the whole character of the area is suffering”.
Mr Jones emphasised that he had become a councillor in a wide UK context, one of a party that had stormed home in Europe, “trumping the major parties like the Conservatives and Labour”.
“We are truly a UK-wide party,” he said. “And while three local councillors throughout Northern Ireland are one small step, I am convinced we will gather momentum.”
In his two successes in Craigavon Borough Council (2001 and 2005) Mr Jones trod the lonely road as an Independent and in 2011 did not contest. “I see UKIP as having sensible policies that are resonating with the people, especially the policy to get out of the EU and gain control of our borders and our polices on health, education and all the rest.
“I firmly believe that our ethos should be controlled, sensible, immigration – with the UK, and not the EU, deciding who is allowed entry. Just as countries like Australia and New Zealand control their immigration – allowing professionals and tradespeople in.”
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