UKIP interim leader cannot name a seat her party is contesting in shambolic interview

UKIP's interim leader Pat Mountain is interviewed by Adam Boulton on All Out Politics. Photograph: S

UKIP's interim leader Pat Mountain is interviewed by Adam Boulton on All Out Politics. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

UKIP's interim leader was stumped on basic questions like where she is fielding candidates or details of the party's immigration policy in a car-crash interview.

Pat Mountain, who is at the helm of UKIP until a new leader is selected for January 31, was stumped when Sky's Adam Boulton asked her where the party's 44 candidates are standing.

Initially she said that she "can't divulge" the information, but it quickly became apparent that she didn't know.

Boulton pointed out that the list of candidates is on the UKIP website, and asked her if she could at least name some key targets.

"Our key targets ... I really don't know that either, I'm afraid, because it's all been left to Freddy [Vaccha, UKIP's campaign manager]," said Mountain.

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"I've been so busy as the interim leader, my time has been taken up with lots of other stuff."

She said that where UKIP is running "depends on the situation, and the analysis of the seat".

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The party's goal is not to challenge any "true Brexiteer", she said, though she admitted that UKIP would be standing against the Brexit Party in some seats.

Asked the difference between UKIP and the Brexit Party, she said that Farage's party will have no purpose after the UK leaves the EU but UKIP has "been there forever".

She brandished a manifesto for the party (founded in 1993) and said with a flourish: "Well, I'll just show you this," she said, pointing out that the title is: "For Brexit and beyond".

Asked what those post-Brexit policies are, she said that immigration reform is one of their "key things".

MORE: UKIP candidate claims illegal immigrants are coming in by paragliderContinuing, she said: "Asylum will not be granted to migrants who have entered the UK illegally from a safe country such as France, Belgium or Ireland."

When Boulton said this is already government policy, Mountain said "the immigrants" didn't want to stay in countries like France but wanted to come to the UK.

"When somebody lands on the beach in Dover or wherever they're landing, they say now 'we're seeking asylum'," she said. "And they're in here and all the rest of it. We can't keep them here Adam, we can't. I mean how many people can this country sustain?"

It remained a rhetorical question because when asked for specific figures on asylum seekers, she couldn't produce any.

Mountain was also asked about UKIP's association with Tommy Robinson under past leaders.

"Now there are some people in the party who are sympathetic with the predicament that Tommy Robinson is in. But, unlike other parties, because of his association with other racist, well not other racist, well racist parties, our constitutions clearly say that he cannot be permitted to join us."

She pointed out that Robinson's last endorsement was to the Conservatives, and therefore did not want to join UKIP.

"He's actually knocking at Boris Johnson's door so it's up to the Tories whether they let him in there," she said.

Mountain replaced Richard Braine at the top of the party after he quit hours after the general election was announced.

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