Members of UKIP’s LGBT group have condemned the selection of a candidate who advocated for ‘gay cure’ therapy and compared LGBT people to Nazis
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.
The party selected Mr Craig despite his sole opponent Richard Hendron, who is gay, raising Mr Craig’s long list of homophobic comments.
Mr Hendron has since resigned from UKIP in a blistering letter accusing the party of homophobia – and his claims have been backed by the party’s LGBT group.
A petition launched by members of LGBT* in UKIP says: “Alan Craig has recently been selected as the UKIP Greater London Assembly candidate for South West London. He is an outspoken homophobe who has addressed ‘gay cure’ meetings.
“We believe that selecting him as a candidate undermines the progress we as a party have made in broadening our appeal.
“While we support Mr Craig’s right to free speech, we believe it is inappropriate for UKIP to appear to endorse his offensive views by approving him as a GLA candidate.
“His appointment undermines the work of hard-working gay candidates like London Mayoral candidate Peter Whittle and others. We call on the UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and the NEC to urgently review Mr Craig’s suitability as a candidate.”
Nathan Garbutt, the group’s founder, added: “As the founder of LGBT* in UKIP I am applaud [sic] at the selection of Alan Craig as a UKIP candidate for GLA.
“A lot of people are disappointed and angry at this decision and I can confirm we have started a petition for the UKIP National Executive Committee to remove UKIP GLA candidate Alan Craig from the approved candidates list.”
Mr Craig previously compared gay equality advocates to the invading forces of Nazi Germany, and has claimed that same-sex adoption is child trafficking.
A UKIP spokesperson told PinkNews that Mr Craig’s selection demonstrates the “broad views” in UKIP.
The party also declined to take action against Mr Craig last year, when PinkNews broke the story that he would be speaking at a ‘gay cure’ event – after his selection as a UKIP Parliamentary candidate.
He was nominated for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award in 2012.