Nigel Farage made light of anti-gay comments made by UKIP members yesterday, appearing on Have I Got News For You.

The UKIP leader was appearing as a panellist on the BBC comedy show, which involved a ‘fruitcake or loony?’ round comprised of UKIP members who had made controversial statements.

He laughed along with the audience as John Sullivan, a UKIP candidate who said last year that physical exercise “releases boys’ tensions and thus avoided homosexuality”, was branded a loony by host Stephen Mangan.

At one point in the ‘odd one out’ round, while trying to guess the connection to ‘gay marriage’, Farage appeared to have forgotten the name of David Silvester, the UKIP Councillor who earlier this year claimed that flooding had been caused by same-sex marriage.

He said: “Given that UKIP is the butt of nearly every joke this evening… Remember all those gales that we had, and all the rain and everything? It was bad weather.

“I’m not saying I agree with him, but the… UKIP chap said that if we had gay marriage, we would get terrible weather events of biblical proportions. ”

Later on, joking about the ‘distracting’ buttocks of a Maori in traditional garb, he also quipped: “As you know, we are a very liberal-minded party.”

Yesterday afternoon, Portsmouth UKIP Chairman Stuart Potter defended a candidate who said that ‘engaging in sodomy’ was ‘disgusting’.