Kerry Smith is to announce he will run in the Essex seat of Basildon South and East Thurrock, the BBC has learned.
Mr Smith was forced to resign after apologising for remarks he made in a phone call, a recording of which was obtained by the Mail on Sunday.
UKIP said he was “his own man” and “entitled to stand”.
He had been selected to fight the South Basildon and East Thurrock seat after ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton pulled out.
But his behaviour was described by UKIP leader Nigel Farage as “loutish and wholly inappropriate” after the remarks were revealed last month.
In the recorded phone call, Mr Smith made offensive remarks about gay people, other UKIP members and Chigwell in Essex.
After resigning from the party, Mr Smith, who sits as an independent on both Essex County Council and Basildon District Council, told the BBC he may have been a victim of “black arts” within the party and that his remarks were no worse than the language in the TV comedy Only Fools and Horses.
UKIP said it would leave it to the people of Basildon to choose who represents them and would not comment on the impact Mr Smith might have on the their vote in May.
The response to the Nicholas Fromage game is yet another reminder that Ukip can dish it out, but they can’t take it
It is sad, watching Britain’s professional offence-takers take over more and more of our public life. You can’t say anything these days without someone clutching their pearls or dropping their monocle and telling you how terribly inappropriate your harmless banter was.
Yes, it is absolutely extraordinary how thin-skinned Ukip supporters are.
Which is funny, really, since they’re the ones who are always telling us that the latest hilarious outburst by a Ukip councillor or MEP or parliamentary candidate or whatever is just a bit of fun and that the people who raise an eyebrow at it are out of touch with how real people speak outside the Westminster bubble. A man called Kerry Smith calls gay people poofters and Chinese people “Chinkies” and suggests going on “peasant hunts” in Essex, and Nigel Farage thinks that’s earthy working-class man-of-the-people stuff. A chairman of a local Ukip branch claimed that some gay people “prefer sex with animals”, so in apparent agreement the local candidate told a story about how a “homosexual donkey” tried to rape his horse. A potential candidate called Chris Scotton “liked” a Facebook site which claimed that racism was “just ethnic banter”. Another blamed Jewish people for the Holocaust. All this stuff, according to a Ukip spokesperson, was “ordinary people many of whom are young and have made the odd excessive comment on new media”. It’s just top bantz, a bit of silly horseplay, nothing to get too excited about, and the Offended of Islington like yours truly just can’t take a joke.
In fairness, maybe that’s true. These aren’t, generally, the Ukip standard bearers, although Roger Helmer and Godfrey Bloom were pretty senior and said/did some pretty spectacular things (sluts and bongo-bongo land were the best, probably). And Farage himself has dropped some clangers. But in general, it’s local councillors or even candidates for council elections; the fact that in the serried ranks of party nobodies it is possible to hunt out some boorish and/or stupid people saying boorish and/or stupid things should not, perhaps, surprise us. Maybe we should be able to rise above it a bit.
What’s funny, though, is how incapable of rising above it Ukip is when something faintly rude is said about them. Yesterday, it broke that a mobile game had been made in which you could play Nicholas Fromage, the leader of a party called Ukik. The game was you kick immigrants off the White Cliffs of Dover, winning racism-points and damaging the British economy as you did so.
The real-life Mr Fromage, fierce defender of banter-squadrons everywhere, of course, took it with the sang-froid and buffalo-like hide for which he is rightly famous. Oh no wait, sorry, he blew his lid in spectacular style. “Those elements are risible and in many ways pathetic. I think I’m quite well known for having a sense of humour… but elements of this game appear to cross the line.” Which is particularly funny since the Ukik game was made entirely by a bunch of Kent schoolchildren.
But this is just par for the course when it comes to Ukip. They can dish it out – “it” being a series of ugly comments about gay people, immigrants, ethnic minorities, bi-curious donkeys, women, Muslims and, of course, LibLabCon – but as soon as anyone issues the faintest criticism of Ukip itself, out come the smelling salts. A Green party member in Cambridge had a visit from the police after tweeting a jokey piece called “10 reasons to vote Ukip”. The Ukip-supporting James Delingpole, formerly of this parish, has complained that Farage was “stitched up” in an interview with Steph and Dom, the posh ones off of Gogglebox. You really aren’t in the right job if you’re a politician who’s been outfoxed by two tipsy B&B owners.
The place you’ll see this the most, of course, is online. Under every piece criticising Ukip – even gently; even in the context of a generally positive piece – there will be 5,000 comments, most of them from people with names like Aethelred or Defender_Of_The_Realm44, roaring about anti-Ukip conspiracies and the mainstream media’s efforts to keep the party down. (By, for instance, getting Farage on Question Time every three days.) Tweet anything remotely rude about Ukip and you’ll see a similar response (the trick is to mute them, and leave them shouting ineffectually into the void, guys. You can have that one for free). And this is unique to Ukip. If you say comparably critical things about Labour, or the Tories, or the Greens, or the Lib Dems, you won’t have to spend two days fighting angry spam.
And yet no one in Ukip has the self-awareness to see that they can’t have it both ways. Either you’re a proud warrior for free speech – I may not agree with what you say about sluts who won’t clean behind the fridge, but I will defend to the death your right to say it! – or you’re not. You can’t be a Voltaire for the things you agree with and a weeping crybaby when someone’s a bit mean to you. For all their posing as brave sayers of the unsayable and champions of the forgotten British values of calling a spade a spade or whatever, Farage and his weeping bunch of milquetoasts have skins of dry parchment. Toughen up, guys. Nicholas Soames once put it brilliantly, in reference to Mr Fromage: “In politics, there is no point being a shrinking f—–g violet is there?”
John Rees-Evans has joined the ranks of Ukip members whose comments are attracting more attention than the party would like
“Just don’t,” Ukip’s chairman, Steve Crowther, recently told party members tempted to express odd views on Twitter. In the light of a “Gay donkey tried to rape my horse” headline generated by a Ukip candidate in Cardiff, Crowther should probably tell them to avoid being filmed on YouTube too.
The culprit was John Rees-Evans, Ukip’s candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth, who produced his bizarre claim on Saturday in an exchange with protesters outside a new campaign office Ukip has opened in Merthyr Tydfil.
Ironically, Rees-Evans unveiled his contribution to the list of wacky Ukip quotes when he was being asked to respond to some of the most controversial things that Ukip members have said in the past. What about the claim from the chair of a Ukip branch that “some homosexuals prefer sex with animals”?
“Actually, I’ve witnessed that,” Rees-Evans replied in an apparent attempt at humour, prompting a burst of hilarity among the protesters.
“I was personally quite amazed,” he told them. “I’ve got a horse and it was there in the field. And a donkey came up, which was male, and I’m afraid tried to rape my horse.”
So, in this case, whoever made the original claim was “obviously correct” because in this case a “homosexual donkey” was attracted to a horse, Rees-Evans said, in an exchange that was videoed and has been posted on YouTube.
The would-be MP, who runs a tour company taking travellers to east Africa, told the Guardian on Monday: “It is not as though I was making a serious point. I was simply answering a question, rather than telling the person that he was ridiculous for raising it.
“I was asked to respond to quite a bizarre statement, and it’s my view that British people are fed up with politicians evading uncomfortable questions and so I tried to give the only kind of answer I knew how to give because, frankly, I do not have any experience of homosexuality, or humans copulating with animals. So the closest match, from my personal experience, was the case of what appeared to be homosexuality with animals.”
Rees-Evans’s tale may be judged naive, but he conceded that “some people who do have connections with Ukip do say some outrageous things from time to time” and that this was probably related to the nature of the party.
“The reality is that, when you have a party that does not have a whipping system, where politicians fear being disciplined for saying the wrong thing, inevitably you will have quite a diversity of personal opinion,” he said.
David Cameron once dismissed Ukip as “fruitcakes, lunatics and closet racists, mostly” and there is a long history of Ukip figures having to stand down after making offensive comments. The “some homosexuals prefer sex with animals” claim was made by Julia Gasper, who stood down as chair of the Oxford branch after it was revealed last year.
Godfrey Bloom, a former Ukip MEP, sparked outrage by complaining about aid being sent to “bongo bongo land”. A Ukip councillor was suspended last year for sharing offensive material on Facebook about Muslims, and only recently Kerry Smith stood down as a Ukip candidate in South Basildon and East Thurrock after being recorded mocking gay party members as “poofters” and referring to someone as a “Chinky bird”.
Rees-Evans said that, in his experience, when Ukip members said things that were genuinely unacceptable, the party got rid of them.
But some extremist Ukip comments are better classified as bonkers than offensive. The most notorious of these was the claim by David Silvester, a town councillor in Henley, that last winter’s storms and floods were divine punishment for gay marriage. Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, responded by saying that no one had complained about Silvester’s views when he was a member of the Conservative party.
Another category of Ukip “gaffe” has involved party members expressing views that may have once been considered mainstream, but are now widely considered reactionary, such as a Ukip MEP’s remark that women do not have the ambition to get to the top “because babies get in the way”. Farage has repeatedly stumbled into this territory himself, for example with his recent complaint about “ostentatious” breastfeeding.
Rees-Evans said Ukip had to decide whether it wanted its members to continue to be allowed to speak out or whether it should exercise more discipline.
“Ukip is essentially at a crossroads, in the sense that it can go two ways,” he said. “It can either say look, sadly, you guys are going to have to shut up and avoid answering questions, or crack on, answer questions honestly.
“We will occasionally get into trouble but we would prefer to have that kind of libertarian ethos in the party that allows you to say whatever you think.”
Nigel Farage has appeared to defend controversial comments made by disgraced former Ukip candidate Kerry Smith, suggesting Smith used the terms “chinky” and “poofters” because of his “council estate background”.
Smith resigned as Ukip’s prospective parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock after he was heard calling gay party members “poofters” and referring to someone as a “Chinky bird” in phone calls.
“I’m a bit sad,” Mr Farage said at Smith’s decision to resign.
“Kerry Smith is a rough diamond. A council estate boy from the East End of London, left school early and talks in a way that a lot of people from that background do,” Farage told LBC.
Host Nick Ferrari questioned Mr Farage’s defence of his former colleague, prompting the Ukip leader to ask the presenter: “If you and your mates were going out for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?”
Ferrari replied: “I honestly would not use the word ‘Chinky’ -would you?”
“No, but a lot of people would,” Farage said.
“I think we’re very snobbish in London about condemning people perhaps for the colloquial language they use, particularly if it’s not meant with really unpleasant intent,” he added.
Farage said Smith was a “genuine fella” but “was not suitable to be a parliamentary candidate”.
UKIP’s main man in Bradford has shrugged off national newspaper reports he offered to pay for a woman’s holiday in exchange for sex.
The party’s Bradford chairman, Jason Smith, said he made the comments as a joke to a friend on his private Facebook page.
Mr Smith, who is divorced, said: “It was basically a total joke with a friend. I was going on holiday with a friend and another friend said, ‘Can I go?’ and it kind of went from there.
“We had a bit of a joke. I said, ‘You can come if you sleep with me’. It was a laugh-laugh, joke-joke type thing.”
Mr Smith, who is standing in Bradford South in next year’s general election, said his party had been unconcerned by the headlines.
He said he suspected political opponents had been trawling his personal Facebook page looking for scandal.
He said: “If that’s the best they can do, it’s shocking.”
Any suggestion that his comments were sexist were “ridiculous”, he added.
Ukip’s parliamentary candidate for Deal and Dover has come under fire for posting a map containing “disgusting, anti-gay and anti-women” jibes on his Facebook page.
The party’s hopeful David Little uploaded the spoof cartoon of “The Ukip Map of the World” on the social media site, prompting a backlash from MP Charlie Elphicke.
The sketch refers to Africa as “Bongo Bongo Land,” London as home to “cosmopolitan poofters” and “zillions of immigrants” and the people of Scotland as “ungrateful bastards”.
The map by cartoonist Martha Richler also brands women in Wales “God-fearing fridge-cleaning women”.
Mr Little, who will take on Mr Elphicke in next year’s general election, insists he posted the map poking fun at his own party in an attempt at “self-deprecating satire”.
But Mr Elphicke claims he has received complaints from constituents about it, and has called for Mr Little to apologise.
A war of words has broken out amongst Bolton UKIP officials after one of their councillors on Bolton Council refused to apologise for making sexist comments on social media.
Paul Richardson made the comments after the government reshuffle just last week.
The reshuffle saw five female MPs made into senior ministers by PM David Cameron.
Richardson wrote “Cameron promotes more women to the Cabinet. Well, they can take it in turns to make the tea — only joking!”
UKIP’s Bolton chairman, Joan Johnson, said she was offended by Cllr Richardson’s remarks and was “very sad” about the post.
“At the end of the day it’s his idea of joke, and frankly he should know better to put it on Facebook for the world to see. It’s very unwise.
“He should apologise. I also take it personally as a woman, as I do believe in equal rights and equality.
Will UKIP take action against Richardson or will they let his comments go unpunished?