Ukip‘s new interim leader kicked off her party’s manifesto day by bungling her way through what has been described as a “car crash” interview on Sky News.
During the eight-minute chat on Monday morning, Patricia Mountain – Richard Braine‘s replacement – failed to name a single seat the party is standing in.
When pressed by presenter Adam Boulton on her party’s pledge on immigration she did not know any of the details.
And responding to questions about whether the party is racist she admitted they had no black candidates but announced they had one Indian man – although she was unsure of his actual ethnicity.
Ms Mountain denied that her party was a racist party, but said some members were “sympathetic to the predicament” faced by far-right activist Tommy Robinson.
In a particularly awkward exchange, she referred to “other racist parties” before quickly correcting herself.
Many people have taken to social media in bemusement since the interview was aired, with some describing Ms Mountain’s blunders as “comedy gold”.
A number of Twitter users also compared Ms Mountain to Catherine Tate’s Nan character.
For some it was another example of 2019 being “the year of the car crash interview”, referencing Prince Andrew’s interview on BBC Newsnight last month.
Others praised Adam Boulton for his composure and “deadpan” voice throughout.
Ms Mountain is the ninth person to lead Ukip in three years.
She plans to be in post for 90 days until January 31, when the party will have enrolled a new permanent leader.
“Hopefully we will have a new leader,” she told Boulton. “That special person that we’re searching for.”
Ms Mountain claimed the party has carefully selected 44 seats to run in this general election and said they would not be standing against any “true Brexiteers”.
However failed to name any of the seats, while further questioning from Boulton revealed the party had put up candidates in seats being challenged by the Brexit Party.
Asked about the difference between the two parties, Ms Mountain said: “If we look at the Brexit Party, I don’t know if it’s going to be there forever. Ukip has been here forever and we are staying. After Brexit, what do they actually stand for?”
When Boulton said the same could be said of Ukip, Ms Mountain produced a copy of their new manifesto and launched into a description of their policy on immigration which included not granting asylum to migrants entering the UK illegally from a safe country such as France, Belgium or Ireland.
Mr Boulton said: “Well, that’s the existing government policy.”
Despite having strong opinions on the subject of asylum, Ms Mountain said she did not know how many people were granted asylum in the UK each year, a figure which Boulton described as “very few”.
At one point, Ms Mountain asked Bouton: “Well, what do you think we should do”. He replied: “I’m not running for office.”
The Ukip manifesto, released today, calls for a ‘clean exit’ from the EU, reducing net migration to less than 10,000 a year, scrapping “LGBT-inclusive relationship education” in primary schools and ending foreign aid.