Christine Hamilton has rubbished suggestions that UKIP is an inherently homophobic and racist party.

The wife of former Tory MP and UKIP Deputy Chairman Neil Hamilton was with her husband for the opening of UKIP’s new office in Bournemouth on Saturday

The couple were met with anti-UKIP protesters, along with supporters.

Mrs Hamilton told the Bournemouth Echo: “There are racists and homophobes in every party, I don’t condone it but it is a fact of life.

“I think UKIP has come through that torrent of accusations, proved by more and more people joining us.

“If the British people stand for anything it is liberty.”

“They support hydraulic fracturing, they are anti-gay and racist, what more do I need to say,” a protester told the Daily Echo.

“It is nice to see so many people here as I wasn’t sure how many would turn up, it is a very diverse area and this is not appropriate.”

On Monday, UKIP leader Nigel Farage revealed that he had a private dinner earlier this summer with Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish.

In May, PinkNews published a list of the most homophobic statements UKIP candidates and supporters have said in recent years.

Yesterday, UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson apologised for using a racial slur against a Thai constituent.

Mrs Atkinson described Fa Munday, a UKIP-supporting mobile food seller in Ramsgate, Kent, as a “ting tong from somewhere”.

The politician from Sevenoaks voiced her opposition against equal marriage last year.  

“I am quite traditional – I don’t believe in gay marriage for example,” she told the Chronicle.

“I have no religion, I just believe that if an imam or a priest stands up and says no to gay marriage, they shouldn’t be accused of inciting hate crime.

“It’s about free speech.”