Arthur Misty Thackeray, the acting chair of UKIP in Scotland, has come under fire recently after it emerged he had published a series of anti-gay and Islamophobic posts on Facebook, including comments that the Glasgow City Council stood for “gays, Catholics, communists.”
According to The Sunday Herald, Mr Thackeray has been accused of making “racist, bigoted, and homophobic comments” since the posts were made public.
In 2011, he wrote: “Real Catholicism and Real Islamism are far from antagonists with both having an outwardly benign image but inwardly sharing a fascist ideology of extreme submissive conservatism and imperialism …”
Later, he also criticised the local authority in Scotland: “No wonder the blue half of my city say G.C.C actually stands for the Glasgow Celtic Council for Gays Catholics Communists eh.lol. NS!”
Also in 2011, he wrote: “You have to witness a Glasgow election count night to understand the extent of islamist influence within the SNP and Labour … last time out I thought we were contesting a seat in Pakistan.lol.”
Last night, SNP MEP Alyn Smith called on Mr Thackeray to be removed, saying: “These racist, bigoted and homophobic comments are totally unacceptable.”
Mr Thackeray, defending his position, said: “It is rather difficult to respond with any degree of accuracy to random comments allegedly made on a social network several years ago and now presented out of context by a newspaper with a clearly anti-Ukip editorial line.
“Such comments when taken in context would be considered merely routine social commentary by any experienced observer of Scottish political and cultural life.”
He also said he felt “very strongly” in upholding “hard-won freedoms” such as freedom of speech.
“Many in today’s society have become accustomed to sugar-coated language,” he added, “but it goes without saying it is never my intention to cause needless offence.”
Yesterday it emerged that David Silvester, a UKIP councillor for Henley on Thames, claimed that he warned David Cameron that allowing gay couples to marry would lead to flooding and that the Prime Minister ignored him.