UKIP’s LGBT officials resign in protest after anti-gay ‘Gaystapo’ campaigner named Families chief
The UK Independence Party’s few remaining LGBT supporters are resigning in protest – after the party appointed a Families and Children spokesperson who calls LGBT activists the ‘Gaystapo’ and claims gay parents damage children.
Alan Craig was appointed this week to serve as the troubled UK Independence Party’s Families and Children spokesman by interim leader Gerard Batten, despite a a long history of extreme views on LGBT rights and criticism of gay parenting.
In a post on his ‘Alan’s Angle’ blog in 2016, Mr Craig wrote: “Following Brexit… I’d like to see the gay marriage debate reopened.
“There is now credible peer-reviewed evidence that same-sex parenting is damaging to children compared with that of still-married heterosexual biological parents.”
Mr Craig added: “In the light of this and for the sake of our children, I personally reckon we should resurrect the gay marriage debate and consider repealing the same sex marriage Act.”
After PinkNews reported his appointment, the party has faced mass resignations from LGBT* in UKIP – a small group of activists who have long campaigned for the party to take a more tolerant stance on LGBT rights.
The group’s chair Flo Lewis and deputy Dan Channing both announced they would be quitting.
Mr Channing said on Twitter: “I can confirm that [Flo Lewis] is resigning from the party over the appointment of and comments made by Alan Craig. I wish to announce that I as Flo’s Deputy will also be resigning for the same reasons.”
Ms Lewis said that the party had systemically failed to address her concerns for some time.
She said: “For the record my grievances go far beyond this one instance. It is only the final of many events that have firmed by belief that the party current direction no longer represents my views. I will officiate my resignation and release a statement in due course.
“I’ve had umpteen discussions with the various and ever changing management about a variety of issues over time to no avail. This was just a realisation moment. They say insanity is repeating the same thing expecting different results.
“Years of being belittled, ignored, compared to paedophiles, serial killers, Nazis, abuse at conferences from fellow members, the list goes on. At the end of the day it’s my choice to spend my hard earned money to attend and campaign and simply not worth it anymore. More to life.”
In an email obtained by PinkNews, MEP Jane Collins warned the party leadership: “This man as party spokesman on family values is completely unacceptable. He is completely out of touch and will damage UKIP.
“UKIP will be lucky if they keep any member of UKIP LGBT. This is putting the party back in to the dark ages.”
Suzanne Evans, the former Deputy Chair of UKIP, also described Mr Craig’s appointment as “disastrous” and “another nail in UKIP’s coffin”.
UKIP has two out elected representatives, Scottish leader David Coburn and London Assembly Member Peter Whittle. Neither has responded to the row.
LGBT* in UKIP has previously lost a number of other officials over similar incidents.
Tom Booker, who led the group for three years, resigned in 2015 after a string of anti-gay comments from UKIP politicians.
He said in a statement to PinkNews: “I stepped down from my position as Founder-Chairman of LGBT* in UKIP, and resigned my membership of UKIP, due to disillusionment of policy direction and dissatisfaction at the failure of the leadership to set a gay-friendly tone.”
UKIP is believed to be close to financial collapse following an exodus of members and donors.
The party has previously admitted it cannot afford to hold a leadership contest to replace Henry Bolton, who was forced out of office following a racism scandal.
Mr Craig is a strong opponent of children being taught about LGBT issues, claiming it is “tantamount to child abuse”.
Craig added: “Recently we have seen that drag queens are now being invited into nurseries to give transgender lessons to toddlers. And a government-funded LGBT organisation is avidly promoting colourful cartoon books for nurseries that provoke three year olds to question their gender.”
He has also claimed that “transgenderism” is a “delusion”.
Mr Craig, who has repeatedly referred to the LGBT lobby as the ‘Gaystapo’, came under scrutiny during the 2015 election when it emerged he had ties to ‘gay cure’ practitioners.
PinkNews broke the news that Mr Craig was set to speak at the ‘Transformation Potential’ event for people trying to cure “unwanted same-sex attraction”, hosted by the Core Issues Trust.
Mr Craig, who at the time was UKIP’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Brent North, dropped out of the event following the PinkNews report. He denies supporting gay cure therapy, but continues to hold anti-LGBT beliefs.
The UKIP official is a former leader of the fringe Christian Peoples Alliance, has repeatedly referred to LGBT people evoking Nazi imagery.
In a 2011 blog he wrote: “[The] Gaystapo are now on a roll.
“Their gay-rights storm troopers take no prisoners as they annex our wider culture, and hotel owners and registrars, magistrates, doctors, counsellors and foster parents, grandparents, adoption agencies and traditional street preachers find themselves crushed under the pink jack-boot.
“Thanks especially to the green light from a permissive New Labour government, the gay Wehrmacht is on its long march through the institutions and has already occupied the Sudetenland social uplands of the Home Office, the educational establishment, the politically-correct police, and the Guardianista management of the BBC”
Even in more recent entries he has made shocking comments that do not conform to UKIP’s public stance.
In another entry penned last month he wrote: “The language of morality, virtue-signalling and political correctness is one of the weapons the Left uses to shut down opponents and capture our culture.
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“If you opposed David Cameron’s 2013 same-sex marriage legislation, gay activist leaders Ben Summerskill or Peter Tatchell could smear you as a homophobic bigot and you’d find yourself ejected from the media mainstream and excluded from polite metropolitan society.
“At the same time the elite – Conservative’s Cameron, Labour’s Ed Miliband and LibDem’s Nick Clegg, Gramsci’s ‘progressive’ grandchildren and lemming leaders of the political class – could link arms politically and celebrate together the destruction of faithful marriage as understood in these islands for over a thousand years.
He added: “What’s to be done? There is here a great opportunity for UKIP to do again what it does best: ignore the demands of political correctness, stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines, confront the political establishment head-on and insist on pushing a vital but avoided social issue onto the national political agenda whether the old parties like it or not.
“We did it courageously with Brexit and uncontrolled immigration. We stood boldly alone over grammar schools and gay marriage.
“For the sake of our children let alone the cost to the tax-payer, we should repeat this by tackling the crisis of family breakdown and promoting the traditional stable family. In fact we should become the Party of the Family.”