Nigel Farage: It’s fine to have ‘barmy’ views on gay marriage in UKIP but please follow party rules
He said Mr Cameron had acted “arrogantly against the Gospel”.
“People are entitled to have religious opinions and I’ve always been pretty liberal about that,” Nigel Farage told the BBC’s World at One programme. “I don’t know Mr Silvester but I understand that he is a practicing Baptist, that he’s very strongly opposed to gay marriage and I understand and respect that. People should have the right to hold that view.
“However, linking it in with the bad weather is heading towards the barmy edge”.
Asked if Mr Silvester was an extremist, Mr Farage joked: “You can draw whatever conclusion you want.
“The problem with Mr Silvester is that he keeps on repeating it, repeating it and repeating it.”
When challenged if he had shown weak leadership in not disciplining Mr Silvester sooner, Mr Farage replied: “The truth of the story is that he made those comments, I was less than happy with them, I’ve sent him a message to say ‘look. Don’t agree with you, I think this is really rather silly.” The UKIP leader told Mr Silvester to “please desist” in order to avoid bring the party into “disrepute”. But the councillor “went on repeating it”.
Mr Farage, MEP for the South East, said: “Actually, in a sense, the action that was taking against Mr Silvester was done so for disciplinary reasons not just because of his own views.”
Speaking ahead of his World at One interview, Mr Farage accused the media of unfairly highlighting the views of Mr Silvester.
“I think it is very interesting that, when Mr Silvester was saying these things in 2012 and 2013 as a Conservative town councillor in Henley, it was not a news story,” he said.
This afternoon the UKIP leader was hit over the head by angry protesters in Kent. He has been interviewed by police about the incident.
UKIP’s official position is that it supports same-sex civil partnerships but opposes same-sex marriages. The first same-sex marriages will be held in March of this year.
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Related topics: anti-gay comments, England, equal marriage, gay wedding, gay weddings, Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, marriage equality, Nigel Farage, same sex weddings, Same-sex wedding, uk independence party, UKIP