Nigel Farage has announced a U-turn on UKIP’s policy of capping immigration, instead calling for a return to immigration “normality”.

UKIP immigration spokesman, Steven Woolfe, reiterated the party’s 50,000 immigrant cap as recently as last Friday, but in a speech to ‘clarify’ the policy Farage said:

“I’m not putting on caps or targets. You need to have more flexibility than that … You cannot have anything in politics without people obsessing over caps and targets and I think people are bored of it.”

However, the UKIP leader said that the party’s proposed plan for a five-year ban on unskilled immigrants would “naturally” reduce the number of immigrants to 27,000.

UKIP immigration policy now calls for a points-based system to allow highly skilled workers to move to the UK, with new arrivals required to have private health insurance and would not be able to claim benefits for the first five years.

UKIP’s change in policy comes two weeks after the party criticised the coalition government for failing to bring down the number of immigrants coming to the UK from eastern Europe over the past 12 months.

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