The UKIP candiate for next month’s by-election in Hove’s Goldsmid ward was suspended from his job after comparing gays to paedophiles in 2007.

Mike Mendoza, a presenter on talk radio station Talksport, was suspended for a week over his outburst.

Complaining that footballers had ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ in the search for missing child Madeleine McCann, he said:

“Paedophiles in general are the type of people that surely would not follow football. Not many gay people to the best of my knowledge are great football fans.”

An Ofcom judgement found the radio station had apologised for the remarks and suspended Mendoza immediately.

Mendoza is standing as the UKIP candidate for the Goldsmid ward. He lost out in last week’s West Sussex county council elections as the party’s candidate in the Saltings ward.

He has said he will represent the party in Hove at the next general election.

He previously served as a Conservative on Brighton and Hove City Council and an Independent on Adur District Council.

In December 2006, Brighton and Hove councillor Peter Willows, 75, was found guilty of a public order offence over a similar remark.

During a discussion, Willows was asked by James Ledward, the editor of gay magazine Gscene, if he thought another gay man standing with them, Councillor Paul Elgood, was a paedophile.

Ledward told the court that Willows replied, “I know he’s not, it’s all the other gays.”

He was ordered to pay £250 costs and received a conditional discharge. He was cleared of the offence in February 2008.