UKIP picks gay candidate Peter Whittle to run for Mayor of London
UKIP has become the only party so far to select a gay candidate to run for Mayor of London in 2016.
Mr Whittle, the UK Independence Party’s Culture spokesperson, was selected today at the party’s conference to run for Mayor.
The candidate will have an uphill battle, however – UKIP garnered just two percent of the vote in the 2012 Mayoral election.
He pipped a number of other candidates to the role, including Suzanne Evans – the party’s de facto leader for three days earlier this year during Nigel Farage’s brief resignation.
Other early contenders who lost out include Alan Craig, who supports ‘gay cure’ therapy, and Winston McKenzie, who claims that same-sex marriage is ‘child abuse’.
Mr Whittle is considered a loyalist within the party, with both Evans and out candidate Richard Hendron reportedly having their bids hampered due to their public challenges to Mr Farage’s authority in the past.
Party Leader Nigel Farage said “Peter has been an asset to UKIP for many years, and I am delighted to learn that the party has elected him as our candidate in the battle to become London Mayor.”
Peter Whittle added: “I’m thrilled and honoured to have been chosen as UKIP Mayoral candidate for London, along with our excellent team of [London Assembly] candidates!”
The UKIPer is the only LGB candidate to be running for a major party – though out Conservative Andrew Boff is still in contention for the Tory nomination.
Mr Whittle represented UKIP at the PinkNews Debate earlier this year, and has spoken about LGBT issues on a number of occasions.
— PinkNews (@pinknews) March 19, 2015
A number of LGB candidates have run in past mayoral elections, including Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick.
Mr Whittle also appears at the top of the party’s Assembly candidate list, meaning he is likely to win a seat if his mayoral bid fails.
Earlier today, UKIP’s leader in Scotland David Coburn claimed that refugees might stone him to death for being gay.
Mr Coburn, the party’s most senior gay figure, claimed: “Many of these people, as we’ve heard, are ISIS… I don’t know about you but I am a homosexual and I do not want to be stoned to death. I want my country to remain the way it is now.”
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