Peter Whittle, Ukip's Mayor of London candidate
Ukip candidate for Mayor of London, Peter Whittle, unveiled his manifesto for City Hall on 19 AprilGetty

Ukip's Peter Whittle has put the issue of immigration at the front and centre of his Mayor of London election manifesto. The former TV producer claimed his rivals for City Hall have "refused to confront reality" by apparently not addressing the topic ahead of the 5 May vote.

"Other candidates will promise to meet housing targets. They'll pledge to spend more and more of your money. But, unless they address this root cause, demands will only increase and, however much more they promise, and however much more we give, it will never be enough," he argued.

"I won't inch from addressing this important issue, and neither will I hesitate to keep highlighting how current and previous governments fail on immigration, and get them to change their policies.

"Ukip is the only party united in backing a 'Leave' vote in the upcoming EU referendum. Only by leaving the EU can we have proper control of immigration. Voting for me and Ukip London Assembly members on 5 May will bolster the campaign to leave the EU and restore our country's independence."

Interview with UKIP candidate Peter WhittleIBTimes UK

Whittle claimed the capital's affordable housing problem can only be addressed by reducing the number of migrants coming to the capital. On top of that, he pledged to lobby the government in a bid to prevent non-British nationals from accessing Right to Buy or Help to Buy schemes.

With net migration levels at more than 300,000 a year, the Ukip candidate has a constituency for the policy. But the Mayor of London has no power over immigration rules, which is under the remit of the current Home Secretary Theresa May.

Elsewhere, Whittle also promised to push for a temporary freeze on the number of Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licences issued in London, while committing to axing the controversial £175m ($251m) Garden Bridge proposal.

"The £10m earmarked for the project by TfL will be better spent as part of Ukip's policy to cut the cost of fares in zones 4-6," the manifesto said. "Peter Whittle will support the creation of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge in the area of the current Woolwich Ferry. He will continue to run the Woolwich Ferry until a suitable alternative can be found."

But the chances of Whittle winning the election look slim, with Labour's Sadiq Khan tipped as favourite to succeed Boris Johnson in City Hall and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith set for second place. The latest opinion poll from ComRes, of more than 1,000 people between 30 March and 3 April, put Whittle on 5%, Khan on 44% and Goldsmith on 37% in the first round of voting.