Murnaghan Interview with Paul Nuttall MEP, UKIP leadership candidate, 30.10.16

Dermot Murnaghan


DERMOT MURNAGHAN: Now then, Lord Farage, how does that sound?  A peerage for the party’s acting leader, Nigel Farage of  UKIP of course, could be on the cards if one of the three frontrunners of the leadership contest wins it.  Well I am joined now by one of those frontrunners, Paul Nuttall, the former deputy leader of UKIP and leadership candidate. So what’s this Lord Farage of the Dog and Duck?  Is it a good idea?

PAUL NUTTALL: I think it would be a great idea.  I mean UKIP should have been given more peerages, all peerages indeed actually since 2010.  David Cameron obviously had a visceral hatred of us and we were never awarded one, I think maybe now with Theresa May in the seat we may well get peerages and if we do get peerages then Nigel Farage should be first on the list because of the achievements he’s …

DM: The small problem is he keeps saying no, no, no, it’s absolutely out of the question, he’s said it to me a couple of times on this programme.

PAUL NUTTALL: Well if he’s offered it, we’ll see what he says internally within the party.  I think it would be a fitting tribute to the man who gave us Brexit.  Look even though Nigel hasn’t been in the House of Commons, he has probably been the most influential British politician since the turn of the century.

DM: But wouldn’t it be giving the next leader of UKIP a bit of a problem? As we all know Nigel Farage has been a huge figure in the political firmament for so many years now, he dominates UKIP, he has been leader or acting leader four times now, doesn’t he have to step back a bit?  If he’s got a platform in the House of Lords he is overshadowing the leader if he’s you?

PAUL NUTTALL: I don't think so, I mean let’s not forget I’ve had a huge platform in UKIP as well, I’ve been the party chairman, I’ve been the deputy leader, I’ve been head of policy …

DM: But if we bothered to poll it, who’d finish first, you or Nigel?

PAUL NUTTALL: Obviously across the country more people know Nigel Farage but the two of us have been the face of UKIP probably for the past decade, we work closely together and we will continue to work closely together if I am elected as the leader.

DM: But the continuity UKIP candidate is Raheem Kassam isn’t he and he has Nigel’s backing.

PAUL NUTTALL: Nigel isn’t backing anyone in this election and I don't think it would be right that he did so because as the party leader he shouldn’t be influencing how the party vote.  Look, my track record with Nigel is there for everyone to see, we came at this together and the both of us sorted out the last time UKIP was in an existential crisis in 2008 and we took us from zero percent of the polls to finishing second in the European election the following year.

DM: So there are many shades within the leadership candidates now about which direction and how much emphasis UKIP should have on so many important issues.  I want to put some flesh on the bones of your policy beliefs, first of all we have got some clips of you talking about the refugee crisis, of course very, very important at the moment given what’s going on in, or the end of the so-called Jungle Camp in Calais and this is what you said about refugees. I want to see you still stick with them, Mr Nuttall.

PAUL NUTTALL: One of the founding principles of the European Union, Mr Timmermans, is freedom of movement of people. What we are probably allowing in now is freedom of movement of Jihad and I fear in the future, in the very near future, we will all have blood on our hands as a result.

DM: So you think, that’s freedom of movement, but amongst the refugees there could be those that want to do harm to the UK?

PAUL NUTTALL: Do you know what happened a couple of weeks after that speech?  Paris, okay.  I was absolutely right in what I said and the other issue regarding the refugees is we need to find out if they are actually refugees or whether they are economic migrants.

DM: Or Jihadis?

PAUL NUTTALL: Or indeed Jihadis and ISIS have made it perfectly clear what their intention is and it is to flood the European continent with Jihadis and we have seen what’s happened in Brussels, we’ve seen what’s happened in Paris and if we don’t get a grip on this I do fear there will be more attacks down the line.

DM: So the people, let’s refer to the Jungle Camp, people have come in and some as we know, it’s questionable whether they are children or not, do you think we should be letting any of them in?  Today we have had the call from President Hollande to take well 1500 more.

PAUL NUTTALL: Well I think we should be checking their age and I’m not sure how we do that but I believe it is not beyond the wit of man to check the age of these people and if they are not children they shouldn’t be coming in because let’s not forget these people are breaking international law, they are breaking the Geneva Convention and they are also breaking the Dublin Protocol which is part of EU law whereby you have to claim asylum in the first safe country in which you land.  These people should be dispersed in France.

DM: NHS, of course huge in British politics, comes top or close to the top in the surveys of so many people’s concerns.  You believe that there should be, and I don't know if you still believe, that there should be more private involvement in it.  This is another clip of you.

PAUL NUTTALL: I believe that the NHS is a monolithic hangover from days gone by and unfortunately or fortunately shall I say, we are becoming an older population and quite frankly I would like to see more free market introduced into the health service …. This is reality here, this is where it has to go.

DM: Just to explain to our viewers, and to you, I’m sure you are aware, we put the bleep in there not because we were bleeping out what you were saying but because of the audience reaction there involved some pretty fruity language it must be said.  Do you still believe in more free market involvement in the NHS?

PAUL NUTTALL: That was a hustings in 2011 in the parliamentary by election in which is stood, the hustings was flooded with hard left activists.  Look, what I have said about the NHS is simply this: I believe it needs to be streamlined.  It cannot be right that 51% of people who work in the NHS in England are not clinically qualified, it’s too big, it’s cumbersome. What I do believe we could have more free market in is in places like procurement whereby the NHS itself is paying sometimes ten to thirty times over the odds for drugs.  If you brought in a private company you could hire and fire them on results that they got for the British public.

DM: Streamlining is interesting then, do you then go ahead following that naturally with being smaller it can deal with fewer people, that those that can afford it should get some kind of insurance and then that’s the way they take the burden off the NHS.

PAUL NUTTALL: What I was talking about, where I am talking about streamlining isn’t streamlining in the sense of cost, we should be spending more money on the NHS and UKIPs commitment in its last manifesto was three billion pounds a year.  What I want to see is that money spent on doctors and nurses, not middle management and pen pushers.  

DM: Now you have been deleting quite a lot of your social media output, is that…?

PAUL NUTTALL: I haven’t.

DM: Nothing at all?

PAUL NUTTALL: I don’t think so, no.  

DM: You have got no skeletons there if it comes to this real scrutiny of what you’ve been saying?  

PAUL NUTTALL: Ah, I don’t believe I’ve been deleting anything off my social media, maybe you’ve got the wrong candidate.

DM: Okay, what are your views on abortion then?

PAUL NUTTALL: I believe that I would reduce the number of weeks, probably down to 12 weeks.  I’ve been pretty open about that but that isn’t going to be UKIP policy when I come to take on the leadership if I am elected.  What I am quite committed to is holding national referendums if a certain percentage of British people sign a petition, it would trigger a referendum.  It is called direct democracy.  I have my opinions on abortion, other people within the party have their own views.

DM: So you are saying it is a personal belief, would you have a referendum on that in one of these direct referenda you’re talking about?

PAUL NUTTALL: Well that would be for the British people to decide.  We would open all of this kind of thing up because we believe in direct democracy, we believe in referenda and we believe in following the people.

DM: And you’d have one on capital punishment?

PAUL NUTTALL: If enough people decided that that was required then so be it.  Look with all these kind of things in terms of …

DM: But at some time you want to bring it back?

PAUL NUTTALL: In terms of capital punishment I’ve been quite open that I believe in capital punishment for the killers of children, people like Ian Huntley and Ian Brady and what not, which is what the majority of the British people think.

DM: What about climate change?  Do you believe it’s happening and what effect do you believe humankind is having on making it happen?

PAUL NUTTALL: I believe that the climate has always changed and no one can deny that but what I do question is the effect that man is having on the climate.  Why was the globe warmer a thousand years ago than it is now?  Why was the globe warmer two thousand years ago than it is now?  I think there needs to be far more research into this before we make leaps into pushing policies like the Climate Change Act for example which harm our economy.

DM: And lastly, Donald Trump, we know Nigel Farage is very keen on seeing him elected if possible in the United States, you must be heartened by the latest furore with Hillary Clinton and those emails. Do you think that there was some of the accusers and Donald Trump and what he’s been doing to, allegedly doing to some of those women, do you think some of them are making it up?

PAUL NUTTALL: I am quite open that I am not a fan of either candidate in the American election.  I would probably vote for the Libertarian candidate.  

DM: That it’s boys talk, locker room talk?

PAUL NUTTALL: I would never advocate that kind of language.  

DM: Okay Mr Nuttall, very good to see you, thank you very much indeed.