UKIP has ruled out punishing a transgender deputy mayor who told Londoners to vote for “anyone but a Muslim” in reference to Sadiq Khan.
PinkNews yesterday reported the comments made by Sarah Larkins, the Deputy Mayor of Ramsgate, after the Facebook group LGBTQ* in UKIP posted a picture of UKIP’s Mayoral candidate Peter Whittle at the Pride in London hustings.
Nearly all of the comments focussed on Labour’s Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan – a Muslim and has strongly supported LGBT rights in Parliament – who was pictured sitting next to Mr Whittle.
One member wrote: “Go for it Peter Whittle don’t let any Islamist scum be Mayor.”
Cllr Larkins added: “Anyone but a Muslim”. When a commenter warned her to be “careful” about what she says in public groups, she responded “Je suis Brussells et Paris”.
Despite the comments aimed at Mr Khan, the UK Independence Party has ruled out action.
Aa UKIP spokesperson declined to punish Ms Larkins because she has a “specific perspective” on trans issues, adding that while her words “are not the Party’s position… the Party stands shoulder to shoulder with her on her stance.”
Cllr Larkins has since apologised for her comments, according to KentOnline.
She wrote: “I wish to offer an unreserved apology for any offence caused by the recent comment made via my Facebook account. I acknowledge this is not party policy, and realise the comment risked blaming a whole religion for the actions of a few.”
The incident comes a week after revelations that the party suspended Parliamentary Spokesperson Suzanne Evans for criticising a ‘gay cure’ candidate.
Court documents seen by PinkNews last week revealed that Ms Evans is facing disciplinary action under party rules, because she spoke out to condemn an extreme anti-gay UKIP candidate who believes in ‘curing’ gay people.
She has been suspended for six months over the issue and two other ‘infractions’.
Last month leaked vetting documents from the party revealed that it “knowingly” let homophobes, racists and convicted criminals stand for election in 2015.
The party allowed 14 candidates who were flagged for violent pasts run for election last May, including some who were found guilty of assaults.
A further 23 candidates had been identified as expressing or supporting racist, homophobic, Islamophobic or sexist views – but were still allowed to run for election.