Independent editor Amol Rajan has defended giving UKIP leader Nigel Farage a weekly column in the newspaper in his weekly letter.
Rajan said some readers have been critical of the decision to give the politician space in his newspaper every Monday.
He said: “I must say I didn’t think, when I decided to become a journalist, that I’d find myself in the position of defending Ukip or its leader. But actually I am happy to, not least because I know many of you have been pleasantly surprised by his articles.”
Rajan said it was important to hear from Farage because UKIP is the only political party in the UK that is currently increasing its membership.
He said that UKIP could have a decisive influence in future elections as supporters of the Conservative Party transfer their loyalty to Farage, possibly benefiting Labour.
He added: “The sheer number of Ukip voters, and their likely triumph in the European elections in May, means your newspaper must choose between ignoring and engaging with them. My instinct, in keeping with our heritage, is to opt for the latter.”
Rajan also addressed the Independent’s recent redesign and said following reader suggestions, minor tweaks have been made increasing the legibility of the print edition.