Former UKIP Bristol branch chairman Phillip Collins dropped as candidate in local elections after reported comments on immigration
A high-profile UKIP member in Bristol has been dropped as a candidate in the local elections in May after his reported comments on immigration.
Phillip Collins, 50, a bachelor who lives in Brislington, has supported the idea of removal centres for immigrants and is reported as saying there should be “one or two in every city”.
He has also appeared to suggest that people entering the country illegally should be sent to prison.
Mr Collins, an HGV driver, is understood to have resigned as chairman of the party’s Bristol branch so he could concentrate on campaigning to become a city councillor in the local elections.
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But UKIP have issued a statement which says he has been dropped as a candidate because of what he is reported to have said.
Steve Wood, the party’s new branch chairman said: "Phil Collins is no longer chairman of our Bristol branch, and following the comments reported in the press about immigration will not be standing for UKIP in the forthcoming council elections".
"UKIP will be fighting on a whole range of local issues in May, but there is no place for someone representing the party holding views like those reported".
A party spokesman added: "These are the very personal views of Mr Collins and in no way whatsoever reflect the views or position of the UK Independence Party."
Mr Collins gave an interview to VICE, an international website for young people, in which he is reported to have said: “The idea for UKIP is that, once we’ve stopped the EU, we’ll be very tight on other people as well.
“My personal opinion is that we should have ID cards.
“There are two million illegal people in this country.
“Britain gets them, takes them to the police station and, if they haven’t got a passport, they let them go.
“What they should do is build not prisons but holding centres and lock them up.”
He adds: “You’d need one or two in every city. Later in time, they could turn them in to prisons.”
Asked he if thinks Britain is still a Christian country, he replies: “Yes, I’m a Catholic and I go to church every Sunday.
“Of course it’s a Christian country but it works out that, even without these other countries joining (the EU), within 20 years, it’ll be a Muslim country.
“We have one or two kids on average and they have ten.
“So imagine that: every generation there’s a hundred of theirs to four of ours, a thousand to our eight.
“So, within three or four generations, this country will be a Muslim country. Unless we do something about it, we’ll be the ones on the street begging for change.”
He also spoke to the Huffington Post website in which he is reported as saying that families should be broken up if one member was in Britain illegally and the rest were not.
He said: "They would be treated humanely and fairly and properly but would not be allowed into the wider community.
“If one member of a family is illegal and the others aren't well, the illegal one would have to be put into the holding community. If the mother is illegal and the father is not, they should be separated.
"If they are ill then they can go to hospital but they should be escorted to hospital like prisoners. They should be held in the holding centre until they find papers for them. At the moment the police let them go but then they disappear and then they stay here forever.
When approached by The Post, Mr Collins declined to comment on the phone.
He was born and bred in Bristol and attended St Bernadette RC secondary school before taking a variety of jobs.
He stood as a UKIP candidate in Bristol East in the general election in 2010.
Britain currently has 12 immigration removal centres, with a capacity of 4055, which exist to house foreign nationals awaiting decisions on their asylum claims or awaiting deportation following a failed application. Of the twelve centres, half are devoted to purely male detainees.