Georgia Graham, Telegraph (London), May 4, 2014
The UK Independence Party does not have a “monopoly on unpleasantness and stupidity”, Nigel Farage has said, as he accused both Labour and the Conservatives of fielding “racist candidates”
Mr Farage insisted that Ukip is a “non-racist party” and said he would confront the allegations “head-on” this week by fielding “a lot of ethnic minority candidates” in the forthcoming local elections.
His comments come after a week of embarrassments for Ukip with several candidates for the forthcoming local elections suspended or disciplined by the party for their “crackpot views”.
Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Farage said that only “a handful” of the 37,000 strong membership of Ukip were say “batty, often idiotic and sometimes offensive things”.
He said it was “disproportionate” and “unfair” that these people are held up “as if they represent the views of Ukip as a party”.
Andre Lampitt, the star of Ukip’s latest political broadcast, was suspended for claiming Ed Miliband is “not British” Africans should “kill themselves off”, Islam is “evil” and Nigerians are “bad people”.
Other council candidates subject to disciplinary action by the party include a conspiracy theorist linking the Prime of Wales to allegations of paedophilia and another who called Islam “evil” and homosexuality an “abomination”
Last week a Ukip MEP, Roger Helmer, was also criticised after he suggested that people should be able to prefer heterosexuality or homosexuality like they do different types of tea.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “We have made mistakes of that there is no question, despite the membership form that we have which makes it absolutely clear we are a non-racist, nonsectarian party, despite the fact that to be a candidate you have to go to a much higher level of declaration.
“Some people have got through, we should have weeded more of them out however if you look at the fact we have nearly two and a half thousand people standing and a handful causes embarrassment
He added: “I am not saying we have been perfect, we have made mistakes but these people are not representative of Ukip at all.
“We haven’t got a monopoly on unpleasantness and stupidity, but I would say this: not only a I adamant that we are a non-racist party this week am going to fight back against it – you will see our election address for the local election this year and you will see a lot of black and ethnic minority candidates who are proudly standing for Ukip, I am going to approach this differently in future.”