A UKIP MEP has urged the party to cut all ties with a group that claims that gay people are “depraved sodomites” and “recruit” children for fresh blood.
The group, known as Christian Soldiers of UKIP, are not officially a part of the UK Independence Party – but are an “authorised group” who are allowed to hand out literature at UKIP conference.
A leaflet handed out by the group at UKIP conference last year claimed that “the State is allowing the sexual grooming of our Primary School children for same sex attraction”.
It claimed: “What the LGBT are achieving, of course, is a recruitment drive. As such people cannot reproduce their own kind, they must recruit fresh blood and this is best done among children in schools, the younger the better. The Government, through [Michael] Gove and [Nicky] Morgan, has given them carte blanche.”
This week, the local branch of UKIP in Dudley and Halesowen called on the party’s leadership to cut all ties with Christian Soldiers.
UKIP councillor Shaun Keasey, who is gay himself, said: “UKIP is on the cusp of something great. 2016 is going to be a watershed year in local and national politics but I believe that UKIP would be left behind if it continues to allow itself to be shackled to a ball and chain of intolerance.
“Christians and Christianity are defined, in my opinion, by their supportive, helping and tolerant nature which I am sure all fellow UKIP members would support.
“Clearly some of what ‘Christian Soldiers in UKIP’ has stated in the past, I believe, does not symbolise what I would define as being Christian.”
West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge also called for the party leadership to publicly cut all ties with the ‘Christian Soldiers’.
He said: “I respect people’s rights to religious beliefs but we are an inclusive party and will not accept bigotry and intolerance under our banner.
“There is no place for such intolerance in society. I am proud to be a member of an inclusive party that positively stands up for Britain and its diverse population.”
The UKIP leadership has apologised for the group’s leaflets in the past – but were caught recycling the same apology for the group’s conduct on a number of different occasions.
The group has also handed out leaflets claiming that being gay is a “vice”, and that Manchester Pride is a parade of “wickedness and depravity”.
Mr Etheridge is no stranger to controversy – he was suspended from the Conservative Party after posing with a knitted Golliwog.