UKIP candidate for the Eastleigh by-election Diane James started her campaign with a call for a temporary halt on immigration.

Making an immediate mark after being unveiled as the party’s candidate Mrs James called for the move until the UK Border Agency became “fit for purpose”.



On the subject of immigration Mrs James said: “We are letting too many people into the UK and letting them have access to all sorts of services.

“I don’t think it is racist to say there is a link between immigration and crime. For example the Metropolitan Police were dealing with Romanian and Bulgarian gangs pick-pocketing during the Olympics.

“Until we sort out the UK Border Agency and make it fit for purpose, the only way is a moratorium on immigration.”

The 53-year-old was introduced by party leader Nigel Farage at a press conference held in the town where there pair sounded upbeat about their chances.

Quoting a recent poll that put the party as already having a 16 per cent share of the voters Mr Farage said he predicted UKIP could push for a four-way marginal seat in the borough, campaigning on key issues that would resonate with voters.

Jobs and social housing would be the key battle grounds said Mrs James, two issues that would strike a chord with the local electorate in the wake of the closure of the Ford factory and plans for swathes of housing to be built on greenfield sites around the borough.

She said she was fully supportive of residents who did not believe the green belts that separate towns and cities become swallowed up with housing.

Mrs James said: “I believe there is a strong enough support among MPs to form a realistic opposition to the move that basically forces through house building on local authorities.”