Rabble-rousing motormouth Katie Hopkins insisted that “this country is full” during a typically histrionic performance on last night’s The Big British Immigration Row: Live.
“I am not a racist because I believe there should be a universal treatment for everyone,” she insisted during the Channel 5 debate – having ‘jokily’ tweeted earlier in the day that she would greet civil rights commentator Mo Ansar in the studio wearing a ‘black curtain’.
Hopkins, who writes a newspaper column for The Sun, clashed several times with other panelists during the bad-tempered two hour programme in which the discussion veered from immigration to issues of race, class and religion. “If you work hard, you want to get along, you’re welcome to come to this country,” Hopkins continued when asked by host Anne Diamond if she was a racist.
“But currently, there’s a lot of people in this system that aren’t working, that are asking benefits – you go to any hospital, you have to wait outside in an ambulance. The NHS is creaking. We cannot take any more people in this country.”
The ex-Apprentice contestant also said that the UK should only let in “tier one” individuals who are highly skilled.
“Nobody is standing up for the people at home who have had enough of immigration. Of queuing for school places, at doctors. Frankly, if you need an interpreter to get a doctor’s appointment you shouldn’t be using our NHS. If you need an interpreter then you need a travel agent and should get packing. Hard working people in this country have had enough.”
She added, receiving the biggest jeer of the night: “I’ve always said if you go into a school playground and shout ‘Mohammed’, you’ll probably get 100 children running towards you.”
Told by Sir William Atkinson – known as ‘Britain’s best headteacher’ – that he was “used to order and discipline” as she talked over him, Hopkins childlishly mocked him: “Cry me some tears”.
Elsewhere, race relations activist Lee Jasper threatened to walk out after a pre-taped interview between co-host Nick Ferrari and radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary aired – with soldier Lee Rigby’s murderers deemed to be in the “orbit” of London-born Choudary. “Am I a little stupid here? An innocent soldier got slaughtered by psychopaths – what’s that to do with immigration?” fumed Jasper.
Other guests included Kelvin MacKenzie, Celebrity Big Brother housemate Luisa Zissman, Vanessa Feltz, former Coronation Street actor Adam Rickitt and Nancy Dell’Olio.