Dickson accuses McNarry of intentionally stirring up anti-immigrant feelings

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has accused UKIP MLA David McNarry of “intentionally stirring up anti-immigrant feelings” after he said Islamic militants may be operating inside Northern Ireland.

Mr Dickson was speaking in the wake of Mr McNarry’s comments, in which he said the EU referendum would not be “welcome with the ISIS gun held to our heads”. He went on to say “we should not be asked or expected to provide work for other people’s unemployed…nor should we rush to send money to Africa when we must get our own needy sorted first”.

Mr Dickson said they were “disgraceful” comments, which were particularly unacceptable from an elected representative.

“UKIP appear to have decided the best way to debate immigration is intentionally use the most inflammatory language and imagery they can. To make the connotation that refugees and migrants may be cover for Islamic terrorists is disgraceful, especially when many coming to our shores are fleeing their home countries due to such terror in the first place.

“Then to go on and again pedal pure lies around immigrant employment is misguided at best and devious at worst. Mr McNarry has already been informed in the Assembly chamber that a recent report by the Department for Work and Pensions shows the number of migrants registering for employment has no impact on the numbers of British nationals not in employment, education or training.

“If UKIP want to have the debate, let’s have the debate. But do not scapegoat economic migrants and scaremonger people. Instead we should be welcoming them into Northern Ireland and recognise they are playing a major role in adding more to our society.”

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