Gerard Batten, the UKIP MEP for London, says equal marriage would cause a “nightmare” and that gay members of his party are “perfectly happy” not to have it.
Mr Batten made the comments last week to Christian TV channel Revelation, before his re-election to the European Parliament.
The MEP defended his party’s stance against equal marriage, and suggested the change in the law had unravelled thousands of years of Christian teaching.
“Throughout my working life, I’ve worked with gay people. We’ve got plenty of gay people in UKIP. I’ve actually never met one of them who wants to get married.
“But I think provision was made for this under the civil partnerships [sic], because a lot of this is about inheritance rights and rights if there is an accident or death or something like that.
“I think it’s perfectly understandable that people should be able to designate who they want to inherit their property in whatever circumstances requiring.
“But marriage, and I’ve been trying to think about an example in history, in another civilisation or country, going back as far as you can think where men have married men and women have married women, and I don’t think there is one.”
Mr Batten continued: “Marriage is between a man and a woman, of course that’s also based on you know the sexual relationship between a man and a woman.
“In the past, even before divorce existed, you could always get an annulment for marriage under the Christian religion …
“There was a clear understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“How can you apply those rules to same-sex relationships?
“It’s going to be a nightmare, or are we going to end up with where political correctness always takes you?
“With different laws for different people so we don’t live under one system and know what the rules are.
“Different people have different rules.”
Referring to UKIP’s position against equal marriage, Mr Batten said: “I think that our party is quite happy with the civil partnership arrangement.
“I personally would be happy with an arrangement which says a person can designate to leave their property to whoever they’d like to, whether their related to them, married to them or not.”
The MEP added: “This could clear up all these kinds of problems that some gay people have but my party is not in favour of same-sex marriage.”
He concluded: “Having discussed this with some of my gay friends in UKIP, they’re perfectly happy with that stance as well.”
A Ukip branch chairman has suggested that parts of London are being “ethnically cleansed” of white people.
Jeremy Zeid, the chairman of the Eurosceptic party’s branch in Harrow, suggested a Labour MP could be “complicit” in what he called “disappearing diversity” in Ilford, north-east London.
In a string of tweets, he wrote: “Having just been to Gerard Batten’s [Ukip MEP] office in Ilford, the almost [sic] absence of white faces in Ilford is worrying.
“Mike Gapes is so busy being ‘right on’ he is either blind to or deliberately complicit in the ethnic cleansing of Ilford which I’m sure will be called ‘racist’.
“A word so overused by the t***pot Left as to be completely devalued.”
The comments sparked several responses on Twitter, with many people asking what he found so “worrying”.
Mr Zeid replied: “Are you not worried when diversity disappears?”
He failed to get elected in the Kenton East ward of Harrow in last week’s local elections, receiving four per cent of the vote.
Mr Gapes, the Labour MP for Ilford South, had previously tweeted about controversial Ukip campaign posters inferring that European migrants steal jobs, calling them “racist”.
Speaking to The Independent, he said he was copied in to a conversation on Twitter between Mr Zeid and another man.
“When I saw these tweets I was just shocked,” he added.
“My point is what is Farage going to do about it?”
Ilford, in the London Borough of Redbridge, is one of the most ethnically-diverse places in the UK.
Just over 42 per cent of residents are white and a third were born outside the UK, according to the 2011 census.
Mr Gapes said: “One of the great things about Ilford is that it’s so diverse and multicultural…this is an insult to my constituents.”
Mr Zeid has not yet responded to our requests for a comment.
Police are investigating claims that the alleged former mistress of Nigel Farage falsely accused a Tory MP of sexual assault.
Annabelle Fuller, until recently a Ukip spin doctor, had previously accused Andrew Bridgen of inappropriately touching her at his Westminster flat in 2011. Mr Bridgen, who denied wrongdoing, was arrested but no charges were brought.
The case went quiet until Monday, when Scotland Yard officers spoke to Mr Bridgen for 50 minutes about allegations that Ms Fuller, 32, had fabricated the claims against him.
The allegations were made by Jasna Badzak, a former Ukip press officer and parliamentary candidate. Other claims by Ms Badzak against Ukip, including allegations of “financial irregularities” at the party, are also under investigation by the police.
Ms Badzak was convicted in October of defrauding Gerard Batten, a Ukip Euro MEP and her former boss, out of £3,000. She received a 12-month suspended sentence but is appealing.
Last night Ms Fuller said that Ms Badzak’s claims were “the lies of a proven fraudster”.
In June 2011 Ms Fuller met Mr Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, in a Westminster pub before returning to his flat with a mutual acquaintance, according to an account she gave at the time. She alleged that the MP reached up her skirt and touched her on the bottom and leg.
A week later Ms Fuller withdrew her allegations, conceding that her behaviour could have been construed as flirting. Later that month she waived her right to anonymity to tell a newspaper that her life had “been destroyed” after Mr Bridgen threatened to sue her for “ludicrous and false” allegations.
She said she had gashed her head fleeing from Mr Bridgen’s apartment barefoot after taking his Westminster pass and BlackBerry phone. When a security guard asked if she wanted to call the police, she said she replied: “I just want to get the hell out of here.”
Police officers are now looking at whether Ms Fuller stole Mr Bridgen’s BlackBerry and pass. Ms Fuller said she took them to prove where she had been.
It is understood that police inquiries are at an early stage. A spokesman said they were “looking into” the allegations and that no arrests had been made.
“It sounds like someone is just trying to make another attack on me, which I’ve had in the past few weeks,” Ms Fuller said. “I’m not going to say any more because I haven’t actually spoken to the police about this.”
Ms Badzak said she first contacted police with her evidence in July 2011 and was contacted this year by David Manning, an acting superintendent at Scotland Yard.
Mr Farage, the Ukip leader, already faces an inquiry into allegations that his party may have breached parliamentary rules by using taxpayers’ money to fund its political operations.
Both Mr Farage and Ms Fuller deny having an affair after an ex-colleague claimed she was his “former mistress”.
Mr Bridgen declined to comment.
Police are investigating claims of “financial irregularities” at Ukip, The Times can reveal.
The Metropolitan Police said they were looking into a series of allegations made against Nigel Farage’s party by Jasna Badzak, a former Ukip press officer and parliamentary candidate.
David Manning, an acting detective superintendent at Scotland Yard, outlined five claims that he intends to investigate in an e-mail sent to Ms Badzak last week. They include financial irregularities “regarding the funding of the party” as well as a number of other allegations made against individuals associated with Ukip.
It is understood that Mr Manning has already interviewed at least one person named in connection with the complaints. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that no arrests had been made.
Mr Farage already faces an official inquiry into allegations that Ukip may have breached parliamentary rules by using taxpayers’ money to fund its political operations.
A former member of the UKIP press office, who is not Ms Badzak, claimed that staff were improperly paid out of funds received by the party through its membership of a political group called Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD).
European Parliament rules state that such funds must not be used to “finance political parties at national and European level.”
“I was paid by the EFD group in the European Parliament, even though I worked exclusively for UKIP in the UK,” the whistleblower said. “The money was paid into my bank account directly from the EFD group.”
A Ukip spokesman last night declined to comment on Scotland Yard’s inquiries.
The party has previously stated that its MEPs are “careful to observe European parliamentary rules when spending resources on funding the goal of British withdrawal” and that it was “wholly legitimate” for some EFD staff to work out of London.
Ms Badzak was convicted in October of defrauding her former boss, Ukip Euro MEP Gerard Batten, out of £3,000. She received a 12-month suspended sentence. She is currently appealing the conviction.
A leading member of the UK Independence party, which has railed against the European “gravy train”, has demanded its MEPs contribute £10,000 each from their parliamentary allowances and salaries towards the costs of the party’s British headquarters or risk being deselected.
Alan Bown, a party donor who sits on its national executive committee, wrote to Ukip representatives in Brussels in 2011 suggesting they should be “good value for money” and divert EU cash to the party’s headquarters or face the sack, according to leaked documents. He pointedly added that thousands of pounds of EU allowances could be claimed without submitting receipts.
Party leader Nigel Farage and the party’s national executive committee subsequently put pressure on the MEPs to pay more to support the running of the party, sources said. Ukip sources say MEPs are still placed under “immense pressure” to contribute to the party.
Bown’s proposals prompted a furious response from the party’s MEPs, who feared they would be at risk of breaking the law if they diverted funds. Another leaked email shows that the party’s immigration spokesman, Gerard Batten, warned Ukip officials that he and other MEPs could face jail if they carried out Bown’s demands.
The disclosures are confirmation that the party’s MEPs have been under increasing pressure to divert their allowances into the party’s UK operations, in breach of EU rules.
EU documents state that allowances “are only eligible when spent on activities and objects which are directly linked to the office of a member of the European parliament”. Bown, a former bookmaker, sent an email to national executive members in January 2011 with an attached document titled “MEPs’ Financial Contributions to the Party”.
He complained that MEPs had failed to contribute to the party and pointed out that it costs £125,000 to get each of them elected, questioning whether they were good value for money.
Arguing that the party’s headquarters, Lexdrum House in Devon, spends a lot of money getting MEPs elected, he added: “In my opinion the MEPs have a clear duty to help finance Lexdrum House.”
The email points out that to get on a Ukip selection list, MEP candidates have to sign a “code of conduct” document complying with Bown’s demand that MEPs “provide substantial financial support to the central party out of income”.
A version of the code of conduct from 2008 has been leaked to the Guardian. It says the party’s MEPs pledge to “submit to oversight and act on advice from the party regarding the use of parliament allowances and expenses”.
In his email, Bown, 71, says: “Most MEPs draw a salary of £80K+ per year plus generous expenses of approximately £320K some of which does not require receipts.”
He said he had spoken to fellow Ukip peer and former party leader Lord Pearson and suggested he had agreed that this year’s reselected candidates should be judged in part on their payments to the party.
“Before an MEP is allowed to stand for re-election for 2014, the NEC should look at their record over the previous 5 years to see what he or she had achieved and particularly their financial contributions to the party.
“The NEC reserves the right to blackball any MEP from standing again if their record was poor.”
Bown’s email prompted an angry response from a number of MEPs, insiders said. A few days later, Batten, who has called for Muslims in Britain to sign a pledge of allegiance, sent an email claiming that following Bown’s advice would risk a criminal record and jail.
“The staff and office allowance combined is £253k,” said Batten. “This money can only be spent according to the rules on staff and offices. Only £42k of that does not require ‘receipts’. To use it for personal or political purposes is against the rules. Are you suggesting we should use it illegally? Are you suggesting we should risk prison to help the party financially?”
Two weeks after the email exchange, some MEPs met Bown, Farage and Stuart Wheeler at the Farmers Club in Whitehall, where they were informed that they were each under pressure to increase contributions to the party.
The party argues the EU is a waste of money and calls for Britain’s withdrawal.
It comes amid concern that the party’s rapid growth in popularity and expensive European parliament election campaign is not being supported by a corresponding rise in income.
It was reported by the Times on Saturday that the EU authorities have been asked to investigate whether some of Ukip’s staff in the UK are being paid from EU money, in breach of regulations.
The disclosures will prove embarrassing for the party as it tries to portray itself as a realistic and influential political force. Some party officials have privately voiced concern that money pledged by Paul Sykes, the former Tory donor, has not come through when they need to fund the European election campaign. Neil Hamilton, the former Tory MP, told the Observer this month: “”So far we haven’t seen the colour of his money.”
Ukip has come under increasing scrutiny over its alleged misuse of EU expenses. Tom Wise, the party’s former MEP for East of England, was jailed for expenses fraud after paying himself £36,000.
Two of the party’s senior members have repaid more than £37,000 meant for office staff after diverting it to party workers based in the UK.
Nikki Sinclaire, MEP for the West Midlands, told the Guardian last year that Farage told her the party would not be able to gain access to extra funds meant for a new political grouping without her support.
The party denied her claims.
Batten told the Guardian on Friday that he has never broken the rules.
“My donations to the party are made out of my personal income,” he said. Ukip said: “Alan Bown is an extremely generous donor to Ukip and is one of 16 members of the party’s NEC. He is well known for seeking to encourage other members of the party including MEPs to seek to emulate his own outstanding levels of generosity. All of our MEPs conduct their financial affairs honestly and comply with the rules covering allowances and expenses. Any donations they make to the party come from their post-tax salaries.”
Bown is in the US and did not respond to requests for a comment.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has disowned “insulting” proposals from one of his MEPs for Muslims to be asked to sign a peace charter.
In a statement, Mr Farage said: “This was a private publication from Gerard Batten in 2006 and its contents are not and never have been Ukip policy. No such policy proposals would have been accepted by Ukip in any case. Ukip believes in treating people equally.”
His reaction comes after, Gerard Batten, who sits on the party’s National Executive Committee, told The Guardian that he stood by the “charter of Muslim understanding” which he co-authored in 2006. It calls on Muslims to reject parts of the Koran which he claims promote “violent physical jihad”.
His comments, which come shortly after Mr Farage vowed to root out “Walter Mitty types” from his party, sparked criticism from Muslim groups and Ukip’s political opponents.
The Conservative leader in the European Parliament, Syed Kamall, left a letter on Mr Batten’s empty seat at the Parliament chamber in Strasbourg, offering him a guarantee that he had no intention to commit acts of violence or promote extremism.
“Do you have a form I can sign already?” asked Mr Kamall.
“I am anxious to assure you that I have no intention of mounting any attacks on unsuspecting infidels, nor of attempting to radicalise you or anyone else.
“If the forms aren’t ready yet, perhaps you would take this note as my guarantee? My wife and family would be most reassured to know you will allow me to stay in Britain, especially since I was born here. Please feel free to drop into my office to discuss this over a cup of tea. I promise you will be entirely safe.”
Mohammed Shafiq, the Chief Executive of Muslim thinktank the Ramadhan Foundation, said that suggesting that one particular community should be required to sign a ”loyalty pledge“ against violence was ”offensive and an insult to all decent people“.
Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford, who speaks for the party on justice and human rights, said: “Gerard Batten’s comments rip apart Ukip’s pretence to be Eurosceptic but not racist.
“His offensive blanket stereotyping of Muslims as jihadists speaks volumes about Ukip’s extremism and should warn voters that voting Ukip means associating with hatred and Islamophobia.”
The news comes after a former Ukip party chairman was stripped of his membership for 100 years for criticising a fellow member in a Scottish newspaper.
The party’s grasping MEPs billed taxpayers £370,000 for office costs and got nearly £420,000 subsistence allowances for meals and hotels.
And they boosted UKIP coffers with more than £400,000 donations of their own money ahead of May’s Euro elections.
MEP and deputy party leader Paul Nuttall employed 12 members of staff at public expense. Mr Farage and East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer even put their wives on the Brussels payroll. The UKIP leader’s German wife Kirsten earned up to £30,000 while Sara Helmer pocketed up to £20,000.
A source said: “Farage makes a big thing of pretending UKIP are different from other parties. But this shows they’re even worse.”
Papers seen by the Sunday Mirror show UKIP MEPs claimed an average of £35,635 each in “general expenditure allowances” in 2012.
Officials say the cash should cover “office management costs”.
The allowances came on top of their £79,000 salaries, first class travel expenses and “daily subsistence allowance”.
UKIP MEPs claimed the daily allowance for an average of 86 days each, in accordance with EU rules. Labour MEPs claimed around 128 days each, suggesting they were in Parliament more often.
Mr Nuttall, North West MEP, claimed the daily subsistence allowance just 30 times in 2012 and has donated £12,400 to UKIP since election in 2009, according to the Electoral Commission. His allowances claims last year ran to £40,436. He was among seven MEPs who gave UKIP a total of £425,978 in cash and other benefits after election.
The others are: Derek Clark, East Midlands, £56,822 general and subsistence allowances, £187,000 party donations since 2004; Stuart Agnew, East of England, £78,486 allowances, £31,000 donations since 2009; Mike Nattrass, West Midlands, £59,845 allowances, £96,000 donations since 2004, resigned in September; Godfrey Bloom, Yorkshire and Humber, £46,722 allowances, £72,000 donations since 2004. He quit the UKIP Euro MPs group after saying British aid went to “bongo bongo land”.
MEPs who made no donations but claimed allowances include: Gerard Batten, London, £51,977; John Bufton, Wales, £49,550; William Legge, South West, £53,813 and Roger Helmer, East Midlands, £67,410.
Mr Farage’s allowances of £61,065 only includes subsistence for the last six months. In 2009, he said his MEPs would “provide a quarterly expenses statement”. We found they have not published any for more than a year. Campaign group European Movement UK said: “UKIP’s position is hypocritical.”
UKIP said: “Our MEPs claim allowances like other MEPs. Mr Farage employs his wife because his office is in his home for which he doesn’t charge the taxpayer.”