TIM Aker, UKIP's Thurrock MP candidate for the next general election, believes illegal immigrants should not be given asylum as this sends out a "soft touch message".

The UKIP candidates comments come as 35 Afghani Sikh's were discovered in a container passing through the Port of Tilbury ten days ago.

One, Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, died. The 15 families had been couped up in the container - that arrived at the port from the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium - for hours after fleeing religious persecution in their native Afghanistan.

All were treated for dehydration and hypothermia but have since been discharged from the South Essex region's hospitals.

But Mr Aker, who is also one of the Eastern region's UKIP MEPs, doesn't think the families should be allowed to stay, saying any immigrants coming to Britain illegally should be refused asylum and returned to the "first safe country". He added that this "firm but fair" message would also prevent further tragedies.

He said: "Thousands and thousands of migrants try and come to Britain in the legal and proper manner. We must not send a soft-touch message to the rest of the world that those who come here illegally will be allowed to stay.
"Doing so simply encourages more people to risk their lives resulting in fatalities as we have recently seen and encourages people traffickers. 

"People in Thurrock and right across the country are sick and tired of illegal immigrants coming here and being allowed to stay.
"I'm absolutely certain that the best way to stop further such tragedies is to send a firm but fair message: that Britain is a place only those who play by the rules are welcome to come to, in a controlled and safe way. Illegal immigrants who attempt to smuggle themselves into our country should be returned to the first safe country."