The recent floods and rising immigration create the picture of a country which cannot govern itself effectively, Nigel Farage has told Ukip members at the party's spring conference in Torquay.

In a rallying cry ahead of the European and local elections on May 22, the Ukip leader said "together we can get our country back".

Speaking at the spring conference in Torquay, Mr Farage claimed his party poses the biggest threat to the political establishment in modern times.

Mr Farage told the party: "Immigration has now become the number one issue in British politics. We cannot have our own immigration policy and remain a member of the European Union.

"80% of the British people did not want borders to come down with Romania and Bulgaria, but they did, we have lost control and we want to take it back.

"In fact, we've sunk so low as a nation that we now cannot even deport foreign criminals without the say-so of a foreign court.

"Our ruling classes have lost confidence in this country and its people.

"That lack of confidence is reflected in the way our own country is governed too, and no better example of that can be the recent crisis that we've had over the floods."

Mr Farage said it appeared the country was "unfit" to manage its affairs and aimed his fire at the Environment Agency.

He called for a public inquiry into the handling of the floods by the agency.

"We have handed over the day-to-day management of many important aspects of our lives to quangos like - yes, you've guessed it - the Environment agency," Mr Farage said.

"Whose priorities appear to be more concerned on the preservation of molluscs, beetles and water voles than our farmer and our householders; compliance with EU directives being more important than flood prevention.

"If I lived in Somerset, I would be very angry at the lack of dredging, which this time last year, people cried out for.

"A full public inquiry is needed to establish the basis upon which this quango operates."