UKIP leader Gerard Batten has today claimed he has "never criticised Muslims", after accusations that his party was endorsing an anti-Muslim rally last week.
Appearing on the breakfast show, Mr Batten said he takes people as he finds them "whoever they are" and "wherever they come from".
His response came after Julia Hartley-Brewer questioned whether Mr Batten's recent involvement in a controversial march with the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) protesting grooming gangs, would push potential voters away from the party.
"Julia, I really expected better of you than to peddle this fake news that Sky started," Mr Batten replied. "That was not an anti-Muslim rally, it was a rally on behalf of justice for women and children, abuse victims. The violence that broke out, those people were nothing to do with the DFLA. They were interlopers who came in and deliberately started the scuffle that kicked off.
'I've never criticised Muslims'
"I've never criticisiced Muslims as such, as individuals, I take people as I find them whoever they are, wherever they come from."
He continued: "Look at every country where the Islamic ideology is in control. It's either extremely repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, or it's countries where there's internal conflict the whole time.
"The only Islamic countries where there isn't violence and conflict is where they have a very strong repressive regime. So that's just a matter of fact."