Search

Daughter of West Indian immigrant insists Ukip is not a racist party

12:00 09 May 2014

Ukip candidate Maxine Spencer. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Ukip candidate Maxine Spencer. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

In the minds of many, the UK Independence Party (Ukip) has become the anti-immigration party.

"I don’t agree with the people who are ‘vulnerable’. Someone with refugee status – why are they vulnerable? They are no longer vulnerable if they are here."

Maxine Spencer

So why would the daughter of a West Indian immigrant, herself a victim of racism in the past, fight a campaign to see the party elected in Camden?

Maxine Spencer, a friend of Ukip leader Nigel Farage, is standing to become a councillor in Kentish Town in the Camden Council election later this month.

She stood in Cantelowes ward in 2010, polling just 147 votes, but feels more confident about the electorate’s response this time.

“In 2010, people on the doorstep were saying, ‘That’s a racist party’,” said Ms Spencer. “They were saying I should know better.

“But this time I’ve had people saying to me, ‘Is there a candidate in my area? I want to vote for Ukip.’ I was surprised to hear that, there was none of that in 2010.”

Ms Spencer was born in Hampstead to a black mother from Trinidad, who had moved to the UK in the 1950s, and a white father from Wales.

Her parents met while her mother was working as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Ms Spencer’s parents split when she was 11 and she immediately moved back to Trinidad with her mother and younger brother Jon Seymour – who made headlines in the Ham&High last month after he was sacked as a lollipop man by Camden Council.

The family returned to the UK eight years later and Ms Spencer is now a full-time carer for her mother at her home in Highgate Road, Kentish Town.

“My mum is a big supporter of Ukip,” she said. “People are misinterpreting what Ukip is about. My mum would be able to come over [under a Ukip government].

“What we want is people that are going to contribute to the country. Immigration is good. But we want to be able to control immigration.”

Having been a life-long Conservative, Ms Spencer became a Ukip member in 2004 while working as an immigration officer for the UK Border Agency.

She said she was frustrated in her job by European Union (EU) legislation and “red tape” which made refusing “undesirable” immigrants from EU countries almost impossible.

“We were letting people in who weren’t genuine visitors because we had to meet a target of getting them through quickly,” she said.

When asked what she thought about Ukip candidates who have allegedly made racist remarks, Ms Spencer said the party was not racist and would expel any members found to be guilty.

As for Ukip policies in Camden, Ms Spencer said she felt most passionately about Camden Council’s housing allocation system.

She insists more priority should be shown to Camden people wishing to find a council home, rather than “vulnerable” people such as refugees from other countries.

“I don’t agree with the people who are ‘vulnerable’,” she said. “Someone with refugee status – why are they vulnerable? They are no longer vulnerable if they are here.

“Women from Syria who are raped and come here are deemed ‘vulnerable’ but why aren’t women who are raped in Camden deemed ‘vulnerable’? I think it does need to be looked at.”

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:36
Ambulance

A man has been arrested on suspicion of drunk and dangerous driving and failing to stop after a 25-year-old was hit by a car outside Camden Road station on Sunday morning.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
International cosmetic surgery expert Cindy Jackson and Ian Carmichael, the Queen’s personal hair stylist, will both be speaking at the event at Lauderdale House

Highgate resident and international cosmetic surgery expert Cindy Jackson is helping Lauderdale House raise funds for a building project to transform its future.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Naushad Faruk. Picture: Central News.

A glamour model from Camden sobbed as she described how a cameraman persuaded her to engage in a sex act with him by threatening to take away the Chihuahua puppy he had given her as a gift.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Jihadi John

The secondary school that ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ attended in St John’s Wood has said it is ‘shocked and sickened by the news’.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

And while we’re at it, why don’t we sell all the Queen’s homes and move her and Phil into a two-bed in Grimsby?

Technology experts have been giving their verdict on the first big smartphone offerings of 2015.

The Korean smartphone giants made the announcement at their Unpacked event ahead of Mobile World Congress.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder