Nigel Farage has said he felt “awkward” on a recent train journey in central London when he heard only foreign languages spoken by passengers.
Pressed on the immigration themes in his earlier speech at a press conference during Ukip’s spring conference in Torquay, Mr Farage denied he felt people should be forced to speak English on trains.
But the Ukip leader said: “I got the train the other night, it was rush hour, from Charing Cross, it was the stopper going out. We stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green.
“It wasn’t until after we got past Grove Park that I could actually hear English being spoken in the carriage. Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes.
“I wonder what’s really going on. I’m sure that’s a view that will be reflected by three-quarters of the population.
“That does not mean one is anti-immigration, we’re not. We want immigration, but we do absolutely believe we should be able to judge it on quantity and quality.”
In his earlier keynote speech, Mr Farage said: “The fact that in scores of our cities and market towns, this country in a short space of time has frankly become unrecognisable.
“Whether it is the impact on schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more.
“This is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.”
Answering further questions about why he felt awkward Mr Farage said: “Because I don’t understand them.
“We now have nearly 10% of our schools in our country where English is not the primary language in the homes those children come from.
“We have had a record of integration and race relations and religious tolerance that is not met, or even come close to, anyone else in Europe.
“So I do think the integration message is actually very, very important. If you have open-door immigration, it makes that transition very much harder.
“I don’t feel very comfortable in that situation, I don’t think the majority of British people do.”