Wales politics

UKIP MEP Nathan Gill employed 'dozens' of migrants

Nathan Gill
Image caption Nathan Gill denies any inconsistency with UKIP policy

UKIP's new Welsh MEP Nathan Gill is facing criticism after confirming he employed "dozens" of east European and Filipino workers in a care company.

Mr Gill was a director of a number of family businesses that provided care services to Hull City Council.

Labour MP Peter Hain accused him of "bare-faced hypocrisy" and called on him to apologise.

But Mr Gill insisted: "UKIP has never said it wants to stop all immigration - it wants to limit the numbers."

He said people from overseas were employed "because we could not find workers to do the jobs".

'Bunkhouse'

Mr Gill told the Western Mail: "We had a care home of our own, but mostly our workers were employed on home care contracts we had with Hull City Council and other organisations.

"The workers were paid more than the minimum wage, but not massively more.

"The amount we could afford to pay was determined by the amount of money we received from the council.

"Working in care is quite tough and we had a big turnover of staff."

He said the workers came from new EU countries such as Poland and others were from the Philippines.

Mr Gill also confirmed his company provided "bunkhouse" accommodation for workers.

"The bunkhouses were temporary accommodation we offered to people coming from overseas until they could get something more permanent," said Mr Gill. "We charged £50 a week inclusive of electricity to people who would be earning between £200 and £300 a week."

'Racist'

The newly elected Euro MP said the family firm, Burgill Ltd, collapsed when a bank withdrew its borrowing facility after the banking crisis.

He said: "My focus at the time was to employ people who would enable us to fulfil as a business the care contracts we had."

"I can see how this could look bad, but it's a case of 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'.

"If we hadn't employed people from overseas, we'd have been called racist.

"The fact that we did employ immigrants is leading to charges of hypocrisy.

"But UKIP has never said it wants to stop all immigration - it wants to limit the numbers."

But Labour MP Mr Hain said it was "bare-faced hypocrisy" from Mr Gill and "exactly the sort of thing we've come to expect from UKIP".

"Just days after being elected on an anti-immigration platform, to be caught employing 'dozens' of migrant workers from eastern Europe and putting them up in 'bunkhouses' is hugely embarrassing for the new MEP.

"At a time when new jobs are scarce, many people will rightly question why Nathan Gill felt he had to import migrants from eastern Europe and Asia.

"It seems the truth about UKIPs stance on immigration is that they are opposed except where they stands to make a quick buck."

Mr Hain called on Mr Gill to "publicly apologise" for his behaviour.

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