A UKIP councillor apologised yesterday after a TV interview where he denied being a racist – while repeatedly referring to “coloured people”.
Cllr Viv Lewis, 83, was trying to defend his party against allegations of racism during an edition of the BBC’s Sunday Politics South West.
But when asked about UKIP’s anti-immigrations stance Lewis referred to ”coloured” people and said he isn’t racist – because he’s been to the Caribbean.
He said: “I have already had heated arguments about that. Racist I am not. I like coloured people.
“I have been to the West Indies. I have sampled their hospitality. I like coloured people.
“But what I don’t like is people who walk into this country and immediately get given money when there’s a lot more deserving cases among English, British people.”
Mr Lewis, a retired coach driver and motorbike enthusiast, was elected to represent Cornwall’s Camborne Treswithian ward in May’s council’s election.
Rob Berkeley, director of race equality think tank The Runnymede Trust, added: “The term coloured has largely been rejected by people from visible ethnic minorities.
“By using the term the councillor appears to be out of touch with modern Britain.”
Coun Lewis suggested he was a victim of political correctness – but agreed never to use the term again.
He said: “When I was growing up, with children from elsewhere, it was quite acceptable. You couldn’t call them black then but apparently you can now.
“I want to apologise to anyone that was offended. It is not something you will hear me say again.”
Lewis’ blunder came just days after controversial UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom had the party whip removed after joking that a group of female activists were “sluts”.
Party leader Nigel Farage was also criticised in April for referring to “coloured people” on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.