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Kids removed from UK couple over support for 'independence' from Europe

LONDON -- Three children were removed from the care of an English couple because their support for the U.K. Independence Party meant they were unsuitable to provide foster care, an official said Saturday.

Local government body Rotherham Council said that the three children were not “indigenous white British” and that social workers had raised concerns about the UKIP political party’s stance on immigration, ITV News reported.

Joyce Thacker, the director for children and young people's services at Rotherham Council, told BBC News that the children were placed with the couple on an emergency basis and were not due to remain with them permanently. She confirmed they had been removed from the couple's care.

“If the party [UKIP] mantra … is ending the active promotion of multiculturalism, I have to think about that,” she added. “I think they [UKIP] have very clear views on immigration.”

She told the BBC that the decision had not been “easy” and she did not think UKIP was a “racist party.”

'Ruled by this regime'

UKIP campaigns for Britain to withdraw from the European Union, saying "we do not have to be ruled by this regime" in order to trade with European countries.

On immigration, it says "the tide of mass EU immigration has pushed down wages and restricted job opportunities. Only by leaving the EU can we regain control of our borders." The party is calling for a permanent immigration freeze for 5 years and says immigrants "must be fluent in English, have minimum education levels and show they can financially support themselves."

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UKIP party leader Nigel Farage said in messages on Twitter that the authorities “clearly have no understanding of UKIP and by their actions, clearly no desire to know.”

He said the council was “partially backtracking” by saying the couple would still be allowed “to adopt. But by the sounds of it, only white children. New Apardheid? [sic]” 

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The British Education Secretary Michael Gove, a member of the center-right Conservative Party, also attacked the decision, ITV News reported.

“Rotherham's reasons for denying this family the chance to foster are indefensible. The ideology behind their decision is actively harmful to children,” he said.

“We should not allow considerations of ethnic or cultural background to prevent children being placed with loving and stable families. We need more parents to foster, and many more to adopt,” he added.

The center-left Labour Party said in a message on Twitter that “Membership of UKIP shouldn't block parents from adopting children. There needs to be an urgent investigation by Rotherham Council into this.”

ITV News is an NBC News partner.

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