Brexit campaign touts endorsement from ex-UKIP councillor who ranted about ‘disgusting poofters’
The official Leave.EU campaign is touting an endorsement from a councillor who left UKIP after homophobic and racist comments.
Kerry Smith, a councillor for Nethermayne in Basildon, was forced out of the UK Independence Party after he was caught on tape making racist and homophobic comments two years ago
In the recording Cllr Smith ranted about “f**king disgusting old poofters”, called a Chinese woman a “Chinky bird”, and joked about “shooting peasants”.
The Leave.EU campaign – backed by UKIP donor Arron Banks – is proudly displaying an endorsement from Cllr Kerry.
Under a section showcasing local councillors fighting for Brexit, Cllr Kerry is praised as an ‘Independent councillor’ voting to leave.
Despite being a former member of UKIP, on the website Cllr Kerry suggests his desire to leave is purely motivated by street lights.
He said: “When we leave the EU, we can end part night lighting in Essex.
“The EU’s 20/20 campaign has forced the lampposts to be switched off after 1.00 AM to appease Brussels. The safety of my constituents comes first and that’s why I am backing Leave.EU.”
In his infamous homophobic rant, Cllr Kerry attacked gay party members for “setting up BLT UKIP on Facebook”.
He said: “What the old poofters groups call themselves. I just call it a BLT like the sandwiches. It’s them letters BLT with a Q on the end, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
“It’s got our logo done with a rainbow. F**king loopy. That’s been approved by the NEC. That’s f**king disgusting.”
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Cllr Smith has since insisted he does not regret his comments, claiming it is “shocking” the press reported his racist slurs because they were covertly recorded.
Green Party equality spokesperson Aimee Challenor raised the issue, telling PinkNews in a statement: “Leave.EU publicly listing the endorsement of a councillor with clearly homophobic and racist views is unacceptable.
“If Leave.EU thinks his endorsement holds any weight, they clearly do not hold the same commitment to anti-racism and equalities that those of us on the Remain side do.
“The EU has been a powerful force for equalities legislation, protecting workers and citizens against discrimination. It is clear that only the Remain campaigns understand that. Leave.EU must remove his endorsement immediately.”
A spokesperson for Leave.EU told PinkNews: “The team who built the website are not politically orientated so will have been completely unaware that those comments were made by him.
“I will pass this information on to them so they can remove him from the website.
Secondly, Leave.EU in no way endorses those kinds of views. We employ a broad range of people from all walks of life.
“As a gay man myself, I can attest that those kinds of views are not held by anyone employed by Leave.EU.”