Nine people who are still somehow UKIP candidates
Nigel Farage has claimed he is ‘ruthless’ with unsuitable candidates – but we look at nine UKIP members who are still standing for the party.
Note: All of the below remain candidates as of today (April 11), according to the party’s own list of its current Prospective Parliamentary Candidates.
It was revealed last month that Ted Strike, the party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Stockton South, had blamed storms on same-sex marriage.
Mr Strike claimed: “Britain is being battered by storms yet again, not long after the worst storms in over 100 years, whilst I feel for those affected by these ‘Acts of God’, is it God’s reply to Cameron’s Coalition Government’s un-Godly change in the law on marriage?”
Though ex-UKIP councillor David Silvester was sacked for similar comments, UKIP dismissed calls to sack Mr Strike, who received significantly less media attention for making the same claims.
Mr Strike remains a UKIP candidate.
The party’s PPC in Croydon North, Winston McKenzie, previously claimed that same-sex adoption is child abuse, and said he was ‘dismayed’ to find out that Kellie Maloney is transgender.
Despite being purportedly ‘sacked’ by the party months ago, Croydon Council confirmed this week that Mr McKenzie is once again UKIP’s PPC in the seat of Croydon North, as nominations closed.
Mr McKenzie remains a UKIP candidate.
The party’s PPC for Tooting, Przemek Skwirczynski, was caught in December posing with a far-right Polish leader who even Nigel Farage has described as “utterly reprehensible”.
Mr Skwirczynski declined to comment after he was snapped next to extremist politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who claims women are too dumb to vote.
Mr Korwin-Mikke’s party is strongly opposed to the recognition of same-sex marriage, and pledges to “recognize the family, understood as a union between a woman and a man, as the basis of social life”.
After this article was published, Skwirczynski tweeted PinkNews to say: “Oh dear… then again, I’ve never aspired to be a gay icon, so couldn’t care less what you write in this online rag.”
Mr Skwirczynski remains a UKIP candidate.
Patricia Culligan, who is the party’s PPC in Eastleigh, this week questioned whether the NHS should be treating two HIV-positive Lib Dem PPCs.
She has since been threatened with legal action from PPC Paul Childs, who she incorrectly claimed contracted HIV “deliberately”.
Despite the row, a UKIP spokesman said the party had “spoken to Ms Culligan and advised her to retract the comment” – and did not specify any further action.
Ms Culligan remains a UKIP candidate.
The party’s most senior gay politician, Scottish MEP David Coburn, faced calls to resign last month after comparing SNP minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.
Two of the party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidates, Tim Wilson and Dr Jon Stanley, quit in protest after Coburn neglected to stand down – but Nigel Farage has declined to discipline the PPC for Falkirk.
Despite being gay, the UKIP MEP is a fierce critic of the gay rights movement, claiming that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis” – and that the Lib Dems and Labour want to ban him from having sex.
Despite his string of outburts, Nigel Farage said: “People do make mistakes. I don’t think David Coburn should have done that. But am I going to get terribly exercised about it? No.”
Mr Coburn remains a UKIP candidate.
According to an anti-extremism researcher, the party’s PPC in Oxford West and Abingdon allegedly wrote a series of homophobic and racist messages on his Facebook, in which he complained about “f**king muslims” and added “gay are still queers”.
He later claimed his account had been ‘hacked’ – despite the messages being posted over a period of several years.
UKIP said it would investigate, however it did not deselect Mr Harris.
Mr Harris remains a UKIP candidate.
UKIP’s prospective MP for Banbury, Dickie Bird, was exposed by an anti-extremism blog also appearing to post homophobic messages on Facebook.
In the messages he moans he is sat opposite a “gay pr**k” on the bus – and labels footballer Fernando Torres a “gay boy”.
UKIP said it would investigate, however it did not deselect Mr Bird.
Mr Bird remains a UKIP candidate.
The party’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall – who is planning to stand in Bootle and is touted as a potential replacement for Nigel Farage – has gone out of his way to encourage people who oppose marriage equality to vote for UKIP.
He slammed Labour’s plans to tackle homophobia in schools as “politically correct nonsense”, citing a Daily Mail headline that falsely claims pupils will have “Sex lessons at 5 under Labour”.
Mr Nuttall has also defended calls to ban people with HIV from the UK.
Mr Nuttall remains a UKIP candidate.
UKIP MEP Roger Helmer ran for Parliament as a by-election candidate last year, despite a string of anti-gay comments – claiming that he should be able to dislike gay people in the same way as different types of tea.
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Mr Helmer – who claimed the NHS should be allowed to fund “gay cure” therapy and that homosexuality is not a lifestyle worthy of respect – is not running for election again in May, but remains an MEP.
Nigel Farage said his views were common among the elderly, claiming: “If we asked the 70s and over in this country how they felt about it, most of them still feel uncomfortable.”
Mr Helmer remains a UKIP MEP.
“I have been utterly ruthless as UKIP leader with people who’ve stepped over the line… I have been ruthless at getting rid of people.”
Related topics: Alan Harris, anti-gay marriage, anti-gay views, anti-same-sex marriage, candidate, Conservative Party, david coburn, Dickie Bird, election, England, equal marriage, Gay rights, homophobic views, LGBT rights, Nigel Farage, Patricia Culligan, Przemek Skwirczynsk, Ted Strike, tories, uk independence party, UKIP, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Winston McKenzie