The Deputy Chair of the UK Independence Party says a candidate who advocates ‘gay cure’ therapy could be removed after outcry from supporters.
At a hustings on Friday, the UK Independence Party selected former ‘Christian Peoples Alliance’ leader Alan Craig to run for a seat on the London Assembly.
Mr Craig’s sole opponent, gay activist Richard Hendron, has since resigned from UKIP in a blistering letter accusing the party of homophobia.
PinkNews last year broke the news that Mr Craig would be speaking at a ‘gay cure’ event after his selection as a UKIP Parliamentary candidate. He has also compared gay equality advocates to the invading forces of Nazi Germany, and claimed that same-sex adoption is ‘child trafficking’.
Speaking to PinkNews, the party’s Deputy Chair Suzanne Evans said that the decision would be reviewed – and she is confident Mr Craig will not remain a candidate.
She said: “I’ve written to the Chairman and our National Executive Committee to make my personal views clear: that the views of Alan Craig should not be implicitly condoned by UKIP by making him a GLA candidate.
“Since I wrote, I’ve been informed his candidature is being reviewed, and I’m confident he won’t be the SW London candidate for much longer.”
She added: “I’m very disappointed Richard Hendron has resigned over this, but I hope he will be as delighted as I am at the the huge amount of support he’s had since this story broke and that he will continue with him membership. I’d be sorry to see him go.”
A UKIP spokesperson added: “The vetting process goes ahead between branch approval and NEC approval of the candidates.
“The vetting has raised some questions and Mr Craig has been invited to respond to the queries, until that has happened his candidacy is on hold.
“This is normal procedure and is not the result of campaigns or complaints, but of our processes working.”
The news comes despite UKIP previously maintaining that Mr Craig has a right to make his comments.
A spokesperson said previously: “UKIP is proud that in Peter Whittle we have the only gay mayoral candidate and top of our Assembly list.
“That we have other candidates who have differing views merely illustrates our broad and inclusive approach,”