A UKIP candidate has been criticised for quoting Adolf Hitler at a hustings event in Southampton.

Kim Rose was taking part in a debate with fellow Southampton Itchen candidate when he quoted the dictator's autobiography, Mein Kampf, when talking about the European Union.

Mr Rose, a jeweller who is standing for the party for the third time in Itchen, said: “There is a quote from Adolf Hitler which reads: 'the best way to take control over a people is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode right by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions.

“In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.

“We will not get a referendum. The European Union will not let that happen, I'm sure in 15 - 20 years we will have a European Armed Forces and control will be taken completely from the UK.”

Speaking to the Daily Echo after the event, Mr Rose said: “The reason I mentioned Hitler is that this is what he wanted and this what is happening.

“What is the EU if it isn't a dictatorship? If they do something wrong we can't vote them out.

“Quite frankly if it has sensationalised it and has brought it to peoples' attention then quite frankly they haven't been listening so far and if they don't listen on May 7 it will be too late because Article 44 of the Lisbon Treaty means we won't be able to have a referendum, and our children and our grand children will face 100 years of darkness.

"My dad's mother was Jewish. Hitler was evil, I'm just saying the EU is evil as well."

But Mr Rose's actions have been criticised by some of his fellow candidates, with Green John Spottiswoode saying: “He shouldn't bring Hitler into it, it's just trying to paint the EU as being like Hitler.

“He was just trying to sensationalise the point about the creeping control of the EU, which other people have made.

“I think it's totally out of order, it's a different situation as it's a democratic situation with the EU while Hitler was a nasty, violent dictator.”

His Conservative opponent, Royston Smith, said: “It's finding selective quotes that frighten people into voting for UKIP.

“The EU system is corrupt, it is the biggest example of a jobs for the boys project ever, but it is in no way comparable to anyone like Hitler.”

Sue Atkins, from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said: “I thought it was completely inappropriate and I think most people would have been very confused. I think it was counter-productive.”

The housing crisis, bedroom tax, economy, elderly care, homeless centres and staying in the EU were raised at the debate, which was chaired by the Daily Echo's politics reporter James Franklin and featured all six Southampton Itchen candidates.

One of the major issues raised by residents was the lack of affordable housing, with many shouting and contesting the fact that people on zero hour contracts could not afford to live in Southampton and more needed to be done to boost the minimum wage.

Mr Smith told the audience: "We need to build more affordable homes, currently the council has a rule that 25 per cent of their properties are affordable."

Mr Rose added: "People are struggling, prices are going up but we need more homes to great communities for children."

When quizzed on whether the UK should provide foreign aid Ms Davis said that she thought it was morally important to do so, raising issues like the drowning migrants in the Mediterranean and members of the armed forces supporting the fight against Ebola - both funded by the international aid.

She also spoke of how she had visited businesses across the city working in the ports particularly who were terrified of leaving the EU and said: "The EU needs reform but it would not be good for our country to leave."

Mrs Atkins was applauded by some of the audience for her view that minimum wage needed to go up to £10, saying: "we need to raise living standards."

Mr Spottiswoode for the Greens said he hoped to use his career running a nutrition business to stop pollutants getting into food and wants Britain to be a leading country in green technology as well as hoping to bring more houses specifically for the elderly to Southampton and support the public sector jobs.

Mrs Bell said that she would like people to see borrowing money as investing in the economy to boost jobs and living standards and an investment in infrastructure to bring more money to the UK coffers.