UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been asked about the views of a former local UKIP chairwoman who previously compared homosexuality to bestiality.
Earlier this month, Dr Julia Gasper was forced to resign as chair of the UKIP Oxford constituency association, following an investigation into comments made on the official members’ forum of the UKIP website.
Dr Gasper claimed that some gay people preferred sex with animals, and wrote: “As for the links between homosexuality and paedophilia, there is so much evidence that even a full-length book could hardly do justice to the subject.”
When news of her remarks broke, UKIP leader Nigel Farage condemned Dr Gasper. He said at the time: “We’ve had problems with her and her position in the Oxford branch is not acceptable and is being changed. Her war against homosexuals is unacceptable.”
In a radio interview on Friday, Mr Farage was presented with a series of offensive opinions aired by UKIP members in recent months, including Dr Gasper’s.
However, Mr Farage refused to be drawn on the subject and made the political argument that “every single one of those defected to us from the Conservative Party”.
The UKIP leader again insisted that the media was treating the membership of his party differently, compared to his political rivals.
Criticising the coverage given to UKIP Oxfordshire Councillor David Silvester, currently suspended for repeatedly saying recent flooding was caused by equal marriage, Mr Farage once again claimed the councillor’s views against the policy had been ignored when he was a Tory.
He told LBC 97.3: “This councillor who talked about the weather – when he was a Tory councillor in 2010, he said exactly the same thing. He said because of gay marriage, there will be disasters of biblical proportions with our weather.
“That story made the Henley Standard for one week and nothing else.
“He defects to UKIP and it becomes a national story.”
Turning his attention to a Tory councillor in London, Mr Farage told LBC 97.3: “Did you know this week a Conservative councillor in east London was arrested for waving a firearm at somebody. The BBC wouldn’t tell you that and nobody else would tell you that.
“Can you imagine if that councillor arrested for waving a firearm around was in UKIP? It would be front page everywhere!
“So we’ve got this situation where the voluntary side of the party is being subjected to the kind of scrutiny that no other political party has ever been under.
“And why? Because we’re threatening the establishment.”
Presenter Nick Ferrari asked: “Is it not, Mr Farage, because you have members that say things such as ‘Homosexuals prefer sex with animals’, ‘ladies can’t play chess’ and ‘women deliberately wear trousers as a form of hostile behaviour.”
Mr Farage replied: “Every single one of those defected to us from the Conservative Party. What that says is that nobody gives a damn what volunteers in politics say or do, unless they are in UKIP.”