Nigel farage
Nigel Farage would ban HIV positive immigrants from entering the UKReuters

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has called for migrants with HIV to be banned from entering Britain.

Speaking as the party won its first elected MP at Westminster, Farage's idea looked likely to divide opinion as Ukip seek to win more popular support at next year's general election.

Farage told Newsweek Europe that living with the deadly immune system illness should constitute enough of a reason to prevent entry to the UK.

He said it would be part of a scheme to control the "quality" of migrants entering the UK.

Asked what whether "quality" immigration meant people without murder convictions, Farage said: "Yes. And people who do not have HIV, to be frank. That's a good start. And people with a skill. That is what Britain should do."

The Ukip leader insisted nearly 200 other countries ban migrants with HIV. But critics have condemned the idea.

On Friday, a woman with HIV confronted Farage during a radio phone-in on LBC.

The caller named "Charlie" said: "I'm very concerned about what Ukip is saying. I don't believe I am a drain on the national health system.

"I am not a threat to anyone,"

Farage had defended his idea on the grounds of protecting National Health Service resources, saying: "We can't afford to take people who have serious illnesses and life-threatening diseases."

HIV/AIDS charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, said Farage had "stooped to a new level of ignorance" by issuing the demand.

Chief executive Dr Rosemary Gillespie said: "The idea that having HIV should be used as a black mark against someone's name is ridiculous, and shows an outrageous lack of understanding of the issue.

"Suggesting there is no place for them in his vision of Britain, Mr Farage has stooped to a new level of ignorance."

Ukip won its first MP this week as Tory defector Douglas Carswell won Clacton at a by-election, prompted by him quitting prime minister David Cameron's Conservative party.