Iain Dale Challenges Diane Abbott When She Links Ukip To BNP

21 November 2016, 18:28 | Updated: 14 November 2017, 11:08

Iain Dale Diane Abbott

When Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott joined Iain Dale to talk about the rise of the far right, she casually linked Ukip to the BNP - something that Iain had to call her out on.

Iain asked her about the appeal of Ukip to "traditional" Labour voters, something which prompted Abbott to respond: "I think you'll find a lot of Ukip voters, either didn't vote [in the 2015 General Election] or were actually the type of people who in the past would have voted for the BNP."

"No, come on," interrupted Iain. "That's not - "

"Some of them," insisted Abbott, "Some of them. When you look at the Ukip vote in areas where you used to have a BNP vote, you can see that Ukip has swallowed up that BNP vote. The BNP no longer figures.

"But my main point about is Ukip is that it's true people have all sorts of discontent. But the fundamental thing is that in those kinds of areas, people have seen their living standards go down, people have lost hope both for themselves and their children...it is absolutely the classic situation...where people look for a scapegoat and if you are not careful they turn to the right."

Challenged again by Iain on her link between Ukip and the British National Party, he asked Abbott if she was accusing Nigel Farage of "fanning the flames of far right extremism."

"I'm not saying that."

"You are though, that's the thing! You are - without actually coming out with it."

As the exchange continued, Abbott told Iain: "It's not impossible to understand what the appeal of Ukip might be to someone who in the past voted BNP...the truth is that the Brexit vote was about immigration."