The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has blamed his late arrival at an event on immigration.
He was due to appear at a “meet the leader” drinks reception as Ukip prepared to host its first Welsh conference. But he was running more than two hours late and failed to show.
“It took me six hours and 15 minutes in the car to get here. It should have taken three and a half to four,” he later said. “That has nothing to do with professionalism. What is does have to do with is a country in which the population is going through the roof, chiefly because of open-door immigration, and the fact the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.
His comments were dismissed as absurd by the shadow Welsh secretary, Labour’s Owen Smith, who said: “Remarks like these are what makes Farage so dangerous.”
Smith added: “It is clearly absurd to suggest heavy traffic on the M4 is caused by immigration, but through the laughter at his silly comments you can hear Ukip’s dog-whistle politics of division.”
Around 100 Ukip supporters paid £25 a head to attend the event in Port Talbot on Friday evening. But they were left disappointed when Farage failed to turn up.
It came after the Ukip leader complained that his chauffeur expenses had to be met by his party and not by the taxpayer.
He told LBC radio: “You look at all the other leaders of political parties. They, of course, all have the state provide them with, you know, the means to get around and with security. The state doesn’t provide Ukip with anything.
He said the government has previously refused his request for help with his security bills.
“I’m not having an argument over it, the fact is we don’t get help. Do I need a security? Yes. And do I need to be driven around from place to place? I think I probably do,” he said.
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