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 Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Jude Rogers impressed Tim Peake on board the International Space Station

An entrepeneurial pupil had his film broadcast to Tim Peake on the International Space Station – and was invited to Downing Street to welcome the astronaut home.

Scene from The Intent

Actor/director Femi Oyeniran talks about making movies and running film workshops for youngsters

A Highgate resident believes this unwelcome visitor may have beeen attracted by overflowing bins

Nearly half of Camden residents face having their weekly rubbish collections reduced to fortnightly from next April under radical proposals designed to save the council £5 million and “incentivise recycling”.

13:17
The area is famous for being home to the Kinks front men Ray and Dave Davies, who named their 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies after their childhood haunt

Some may accuse the residents of N10 of being a little smug, but with its array of shopping and dining options and it’s excellent education opportunities area pride is well deserved

First time buyers in Camden will need to earn 10 times the average local salary

Camden is one of the least affordable places in the UK for first time buyers according to a report.

09:14
Sean Cronin leaps to win a header during Monday's victory over Maidenhead. Pic: Martin Addison

Sean Cronin is hoping his experience at the back can enable Wingate & Finchley to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs this season.

07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Yesterday, 12:23
What could be grander than a home on Chester Terrace?

From a fabulous first time buy to a restoration opportunity sensation, here are the properties on the market you need to know (or be nosy) about

Results

Hampstead and Kilburn

  • Tulip Siddiq (Labour)
    23,977 (44.4%)

Finchley and Golders Green

  • Mike Freer (Conservative)
    25,835 (50.9%)

Holborn and St Pancras

  • Keir Starmer(Labour)
    29,062 (52.9%)

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now