A UKIP councillor who blamed recent storms and flooding on the legalisation of gay marriage has been expelled from the party.
Town councillor David Silvester, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, was suspended by the party on 19 January.
Mr Silvester made his comments in a letter to his local newspaper, the Henley Standard.
Henley-on-Thames Town Council will hold a meeting later to discuss the fallout around his comments.
UKIP have called upon emergency procedures to suspend Councillor David Silvester following remarks made to the media over the weekend.
The South East UKIP Chairman Roger Bird has stated
“We cannot have any individual using the UKIP banner to promote their controversial personal beliefs which are not shared by the Party. Everyone is entitled to their own religious ideology which is central to a free and fair society.
Councillor Silvester’s views are his own and in no way reflect the Party’s position. Indeed Councillor Silvester himself has clearly stated this.
However, Councillor Silvester has today acted contrary to Party requests and continued to court the media in order to promote his own personal beliefs. This has caused significant offence to many people and goes against the core principles of UKIP.
It is not fair on the many thousands of hard working members of UKIP to have one person take attention away from their efforts and successes by promoting their own controversial views despite being requested not to do so.”
Hope not Hate
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has confirmed that there are extremist elements within the ranks of his xenophobic party.
Speaking to the country’s media Farage said that he promised to rid the party of its more extreme candidates ahead of the European and Local council elections in May and has promised to vet all 1,818 candidates to make sure they do not have “extremist, barmy or nasty” views.
Farage promised the crackdown following the huge amount of unwanted coverage UKIP received yesterday following the comments by Henley on Thames UKIP councillor David Silvester who declared that Gay marriage was to blame for the floods that devastated large areas of the UK.
Hope not Hate
A UKIP councillor has defended his stance of blaming recent storms and heavy floods across Britain on the legalisation of gay marriage.
David Silvester, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, had initially written to his local paper warning David Cameron the move would “result in disaster”.
Reiterating his views on BBC Radio Oxford, he added: “God wants all gay men to repent and be healed.”
Church groups called his views “primitive and dangerous”.
Councillor Silvester defected from the Conservatives to UKIP in protest at David Cameron’s support for same-sex unions.
In a letter to the Henley Standard, the town councillor drew a link between the passage of the government’s same-sex marriage bill and recent flooding across the UK.
Speaking to BBC Radio Oxford’s Charles Nove on Sunday, Mr Silvester said: “I’m serious, I believe what the Bible says about what is right and what is wrong for mankind.
“Secondly, I believe what the Bible says about divine repercussions on nations that insist on wrongdoing.
“God wants homosexuals to repent and be healed. I don’t believe it’s right to leave them as they are.
“That’s not God’s purpose.”
The Rev Colin Coward, from Anglican group Changing Attitude, said he was not unfamiliar with Mr Silvester’s mindset.
“I don’t know where David worships, but clearly it’s in a sect, a church which is not mainstream in its Christian practice and teaching.”
Mr Coward added: “It’s just prejudice that he is justifying on the grounds of his particular brand of Christianity.”
Ian Bunce from the Baptist Union said: “It’s a big jump from same-sex marriage to finding a cause of flooding.
“I’m not sure how Mr Silvester gets to that point in any context.
“It’s a rather old-fashioned view and it’s certainly not an opinion which holds any theological weight at all.”
UKIP has said Mr Silvester’s views are “not the party’s belief” but defended his right to state his opinions.
The UKIP Councillor for Henley on Thames has written a very odd homophobic letter to a local newspaper.
David Silvester, who resigned from the Tories over David Cameron’s same-sex marriage policy, has said gay marriage is to blame for Britain’s recent spell of bad weather in a letter to The Henley Standard,
“Since the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the nation has been beset by serious storms and floods,” he claims.
Ukip have reacted to the councillor’s comments by telling HuffPost: “If the media are expecting UKIP to either condemn or condone someone’s personal religious views they will get absolutely no response.”
Ominously discussing the flooding in his letter to the newspaper Mr Silvester ponders: “Is this just global warming or is there something more serious at work?”
Expanding on this rather doom-laden suggestion, he launches into an eyebrow-raising tirade, quoting The Bible, and explaining that acts like gay marriage are to blame for storms, disease, pestilence and war.
“The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters.”
He does say he warned the Prime Minister about the gays and their apparent secret agenda to destroy humanity, adding “I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same sex marriage Bill.
“But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so.
“Now, even as Cameron sheds crocodile tears on behalf of destitute flooded homeowners, playing at advocate against the very local councils he has made cash-strapped, it is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.
“He has arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain ‘great’ and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it for everything a nation does is weighed on the scaled of divine approval or disapproval.”
Unfortunately for the councillor, more bad weather is predicted – so it seems gay marriage is going nowhere fast.
A Ukip spokeswoman told the Huffington Post UK that “freedom to individual thought and expression is a central tenet of any open minded and democratic country.
“It is quite evident that this is not the Party’s belief but the councillor’s own and he is more than entitled to express independent thought despite whether or not other people may deem it standard or correct.
“That is what makes the United Kingdom such a wonderful, proud, diverse and free country.”
But the Conservative District Councillor for Henley on Thames told HuffPost Mr Silvester’s comments highlighted how Ukip would take the UK back to the stone age if elected.
“Playing ‘spot the wrath’ with pages of the Henley Standard is absurd,” William Hall said.
“Many people around here appreciate a sound stance on cutting taxes and getting out of the EU but once you scratch the surface UKIP is a party that would take us back to the stone age.”