UKIP denies selecting candidate who claims gays should ‘repent and turn to Christ’
UKIP has denied that it selected a notoriously anti-gay Christian preacher as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.
Mr Hargreaves is a former music producer who co-wrote Sinitta’s gay anthem ‘So Macho’.
He stood against bisexual Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie in 2007, claiming that Mr Harvie is a “fundamentalist gay rights activist” and that his bisexuality is “sinful”.
However, UKIP has now moved to deny that it intended Mr Hargreaves to be a candidate – despite former candidate Mark Taylor confirming to the Coventry Telegraph that he has been moved aside for him.
Mr Taylor, who was previously the leader of UKIP Coventry, had said: “The party rules allow this to happen. I’m struggling with it, but I have agreed to it.
“I could have said no, but I have decided to step aside. I will still be running in the local elections but I’m disappointed, there’s no doubt about it.”
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However, UKIP’s Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans tweeted: “I’ve checked & I can confirm the Rev George Hargreaves is not a UKIP candidate.”
She claimed: “I believe that branch has yet to select.”
The preacher has previously warned Parliament about anti-discrimination laws, claiming: “I am concerned that if Stonewall get their way Black Church Pastors like me could face up to seven years in jail for speaking publicly about our Christian beliefs.
“We preach that people need to repent of their sins (including sexual sins) and turn to Christ for forgiveness. This is the essence of our Christian faith.”
The preacher spoke against PinkNews founder Benjamin Cohen at an Oxford Union debate in 2013, arguing against the motion ‘this house would be glad to have gay parents’.
At the debate, Mr Hargreaves said: “Jesus loves you, but what you’re doing is wrong.”