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East Sussex UKIP councillor claims eastern Europeans in the UK 'live in sheds'
A UKIP councillor has been criticised after claiming eastern Europeans working in the UK “live in sheds” and send their wages home while claiming benefits.
Laurence Keeley, who sits on East Sussex County Council, made the comments in a letter to The Argus as he claimed the public had the wrong impression about the party.
It comes just a day after The Argus reported death threats had been made on a political blog towards Ukip members in Crawley.
Coun Keeley, who represents Hailsham and Herstmonceux on the local authority, said: “What a pity that some members of the public have the wrong impression about Ukip- it's all about space and not race.
“We as a nation should be helping the eastern European counties to become better places so the people don't want to leave.
“I can understand people wanting to leave a corrupt country, it must be a harsh decision to move away from ones family and friends.
“But we can't take everyone that has troubles at home.
“Why don't we all want to move to Romania, it should be a wonderful place to live.
“We should be looking into these issues, not taking in all nations' people.
“The fact is they often don't live our way, don't pay our rents or mortgages, six live in a shed, then send their wages home.
“Then the UK gives them medical treatment, free schools and benefits that they haven't paid into - our infrastructure is unable to cope with the overcrowding.”
In response, Liberal Democrat councillor David Tutt said: “It sounds like a typical Ukip view on the world.
“It's not a position that I hold however.
“We're part of the EU and there needs to be controls. However I think that is best done by working with the Europeans parliament and not through reactionary politics.”
Godfrey Daniel, a Labour member on the county council, said: “As a Welshman who has made a career in England I always distrust assumptions about people coming from different countries.
“Recently I was in hospital for quite a major operation and it was so gratifying to see so many people of different races working together to help me in my recovery.”
He added: “There are elections where people want to vote for somebody different as a protest.
“I think as time goes on they will begin to regret voting so many Ukip councillors onto the county council.
“They do not appear to be offering any different.”
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