Ukip have dismissed suggestions that their integration agenda appeals to far-right supporters by claiming that some Liberal Democrats back banning face coverings, including burqas, in public places.
"If you look at the polling on this, there's a majority of voters from every single party, even the Liberal Democrats, who support a ban on face coverings," Ukip MEP Patrick O'Flynn told reporters. "The idea that an integration agenda is far right is nonsense. Far right politics is about removing people from the country."
He added: "We're about integration, we're about giving young people especially from every community in Britain, including young British Muslims, the maximum chance to fulfill their potential in our society to make good lives for themselves and also contribute to the wider community. That is the impetus behind the integration agenda."
The comments come after Ukip faced an internal and external backlash over the proposals, with Ukip MEP James Carver quitting as the party's foreign affairs spokesman over the issue.
"I would be one of the first to condemn a ban on wearing a crucifix as an infringement of liberty. No-one has the right to dictate what people should wear," he said.
"When facial identification is necessary, such as at passport controls, or in a bank, then it is perfectly reasonable to order the removal of veils, as is the practice – but in a free and liberal society, people have a right to their religious beliefs, and to dress as they see fit."
But a YouGov poll, of more than 1,500 people between 25 and 26 April, found that 48% of respondents supported a law against wearing a full body and face veil, whilst 42% of voters said people should be allowed to decide for themselves what to wear.
O'Flynn spoke to the press not long after a handful of Stand Up to Racism activists attempted to crash the event at the Marriott Hotel in Westminster, London.
Weyman Bennett, a member of the pro-Brexit Socialist Workers Party (SWP), told IBTimes UK: "They try and use racism as a means of winning votes, I think that's reprehensible and should be checked."
The Metropolitan Police were called to remove the protesters.