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48 of the most shocking UKIP moments

Nigel Farage - Credit: AP/Press Association Images

The 48 most WTF Ukip moments. You won’t be surprised to learn that this wasn’t all of them…


1) The fight for UKIP’s leadership turned literal with hopeful Steven Woolfe hospitalised afTer an ‘altercation’ with a fellow party MEP at The european parliament.

2) After just 18 days in charge, Diane James quit as UKIP leader. In the wake of her volte-face it emerges that when signing the official documentation to finalise her election as leader she scrawled next to her name the Latin term ‘vi coactus’ or ‘under duress’. The fall-out prompted Woolfe’s ‘scuffle’.


Related content:

UKIP founder Alan Sked gives his brutal assessment of Nigel Farage’s failings and why the party should disappear


3) MEP Godfrey bloom told a fringe meeting debating women in politics at the 2013 party conference that the room is ‘full of sluts’. He defended his outburst by insisting he meant the remarks to mean ‘untidy’ women and it was a ‘joke’.

4) As the row over Bloom’s bizarre ‘joke’ raged, he decided to deflect attention from the incident – by attacking a journalist with a party brochure. Quizzed by Channel 4’s Michael Crick about the lack of ethnic people included in the literature Bloom grabbed it from him thwacked him in the face with it and shouted: ‘Appalling man. You, sir, are a racist.’

5) In December 2012 UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clarke sparked outrage after claiming in his own online manifesto that the NHS should look to cut costs by suggesting foetuses with Down’s syndrome or spina bifida should be compulsory aborted. this is too much even for UKIP and he is suspended.

6) In January 2013, the chairman of UKIP’s youth wing, Olly Neville, shocked many of the party’s critics with a progressive statement supporting gay marriage. He was promptly sacked.

7) Despite UKIP saying Neville was sacked because of his ‘misrepresentation’ of the policy, days later another candidate was forced to quit when party leaders refuse to campaign for him due to his support for same-sex marriage. Richard lowe, a UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate, said: ‘I felt I had no choice but to resign.’

8) UKIP councillor David Silvester also had strong views on gay marriage. He blamed the policy for the floods that deluged Britain in 2013, claiming in a local newspaper that the biblical downpours were God’s way of punishing Britain. He was suspended from the party.

9) In May 2013 the party was forced to distance itself from donor Demetri Marchessini who claimed in a book that women who wear trousers were engaging in ‘hostile behaviour’. He added that ‘women’s legs are essentially sexy’.

10) Although UKIP publicly denounced Marchessini’s comments they continued to accept his money and by the end of 2014 he was back promoting his views – on national TV. Interviewed by Channel 4, he toughened his trouser policy to a total ban and said rape was impossible within marriage. UKIP severed ties with the businessman.


11) Nigel Farage admitted he paid an adviser to set up the Farage Family Educational trust on the isle of Man – a trust fund in a tax haven. He later called it a ‘mistake’.

12) It’s good-old Godfrey again but this time Bloom had his sights set on overseas aid rather than women or journalists. Bloom is caught on camera saying Britain should not send money to ‘bongo-bongo land’ and that foreign aid was spent on ‘Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris’ and ‘Ferraris’.

13) Farage was forced to defend himself after an allegation of racism from the early 1980s emerged. In a letter a teacher pleads with a Dulwich college master not to make Farage a prefect recounting an incident where he allegedly sang Hitler Youth songs. Farage denied the claims and the school concluded it was ‘naughtiness, not racism’.

14) UKIP council candidate William Henwood found himself in hot water when he suggested comedian Lenny Henry should emigrate to a ‘black country’. The comments came after Henry launched a campaign to encourage better representation of ethnic minorities in the media.


15) UKIP councillor Donna Edmunds sparked anger – and confusion – when she stated businesses should be allowed to refuse to serve women and gays. She soon apologised but defended her stance as ‘an essentially libertarian stance’.

16) Gerard Batten, an MEP and UKIP founding member, stood by a document he wrote in 2006 which recommended that all Muslims should sign a declaration rejecting violence.

17) Relations between Douglas Carswell and Farage have never been terribly warm. In the 2015 general election campaign, carswell requested that Farage’s face should not appear on any promotional material in his constituency.

18) Steven Woolfe, was ruled ‘ineligible’ to stand in the post-referendum leadership contest this summer after submitting his papers 17 minutes late due to ‘technical difficulties’. An investigation was launched but Woolfe was ultimately excluded. 19) During that contest, Diane James refused to take part in hustings with the other candidates. Rival philip broughton called her stance ‘bang out of order’ but she still won.

20) Suzanne Evans, a former ally of Farage’s, was suspended by the party over alleged disloyalty after stating Farage was ‘divisive’ in a BBC interview. She argued she was the victim of a vendetta but was still suspended for six months.

21) Just 12 days after being crowned councillor of Stourport-on-Severn, in Worcestershire, Eric Kitson was forced to stand down after he shared racist cartoons on his Facebook page. He told reporters he shared the images to show how ‘disgusting’ they were.

22) Speaking in the City, Farage claimed women who take time off to take care for their children are ‘worth less’ to employers than men. He added: ‘In many, many cases, women make different choices in life to the ones that men make simply for biological reasons.’

23) During the 2014 European elections UKIP took a tough line on immigrant workers and even unveiled a poster depicting a british worker ‘hit hard by unlimited cheap labour’. the actor in question was Dave o’Rourke from Dublin.

24) True to his word Farage resigned as leader of UKIP following his failure to capture a parliamentary seat in 2015. But days later he was back at the helm: ‘I resigned. … The NEC unanimously said they didn’t want me to do that.’

The 2010 UKIP election manifesto was a weighty tome – 486 pages in fact. Here are a few of its highlights:

25) Compulsory dress code for taxi drivers.

26) Abolish The Climate Change Act and ban Al Gore’s oscar-winning docUmenTary ‘an inconvenient truth’ from being shown in schools.

27) Stop all lectures and courses in European Studies at Universities.

28) SafegUard British measurements (presumably so Farage doesn’t have to ask for 568ml of ale).

29) Restrict the number of foreign players on football teams to three.

30) Promote ‘proper dress’ when visiting the theatre, major hotels and restaurants.

31) Return The circle line To a ‘complete circular service’.

32) Return to swearing allegiance to The Crown for all public servants and British subjects.

33) Promote ‘The glamour, grace and style of The railway companies of the past through railway policies’.

34) Scrap maternity pay.

35) Perhaps with one of his least controversial comments Farage later dismissed the 2010 manifesto (see numbers 25 – 34) as ‘drivel’.

36) In a last-ditch bid to woo voters in Buckingham in May 2010, Farage chartered a plane to trail a pro-UKIP banner in the skies above the constituency. But the banner became tangled in the propellers and the plane crashed. Farage was left bloodied and with broken bones but afterwards recalled how he had lit a cigarette: ‘Not a great idea so close to a pool of aviation fuel.’

37) In one of the highlights of the referendum campaign Farage was trolled by Sir bob Geldof as the pair sailed up the thames on rival boats. their supporters exchanged insults – and blasts from a water cannon – across the water.

38) Seemingly embracing fellow Brexiteer Michael Gove’s claim that the country is ‘fed up of experts’ Farage took up cigarettes again, declaring that ‘the doctors have got it wrong about smoking’.

39) During a trip to Scotland, Farage had to take refuge in a pub when demonstrators launched a protest in Edinburgh. police initially tried to persuade two taxi drivers to take him away, before he was given shelter in a riot van.

40) Tory-defector and Farage-foe Douglas Carswell became embroiled in a Twitter argument with a science professor about whether the moon is responsible for causing tides. Carswell spoke up in support of the sun’s influence on tides.

41) When tackled on immigration policies during an interview councillor Viv lewis went on the defensive stating he is not a racist because he had been on holiday to the caribbean and adding: ‘I like coloured people.’

42) UKIP spin doctor, press guru and parliamentary candidate Gawain Towler caused controversy by describing an Evening Standard journalist as being of ‘some form of ethnic extraction’.

43) Former labour MP and television host Robert Kilroy-Silk joined UKIP in 2004 and won a seat in the European parliament in June that year. By October Kilroy-Silk had branded the party ‘incompetent’. He left in January 2005 and set up the now-defunct Veritas.

44) Sycophant and parliamentary candidate Sam Gould decided to impress his leader during conference in Margate by scrawling ‘we love Nige’ in 6ft letters on the beach. So pleased was he he failed to notice the in-coming tide. Luckily press chief Towler was on hand to drag Gould to safety.

45) UKIP candidate John Sullivan claimed PE in schools could ‘prevent homosexuality’ on Facebook. He also applauded Russia for banning gay pride marches adding: ‘Well done the Russians.’ He wasn’t elected.

46) The UKIP Calypso – a single by celebrity supporter Mike Read – reached 44 in the UK charts (and No. 1 in the indie chart). The song, performed in a cod Caribbean accent, prompted accusations of racism and Read later withdrew it. UKIP offered proceeds to the Red Cross but the organisation declined the donation. Lyrics included: ‘The EU live in Wonderland/Try to ban bent bananas and British jam/We don’t want jam the EU way/Jam yesterday tomorrow but never today’.

47) UKIP’s carnival of colour – organised to tackle accusations the party was racist – had to be abandoned, after the steel band hired to perform, packed up and left, saying they were too embarrassed to be there. Without the music, things took a further turn for the worse at the croydon event, when local UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie described the town as a ‘dump’.

48) McKenzie – who was later sacked by UKIP – referred to Farage as The Guvnor and compared him to Jesus. McKenzie, the party’s ‘Commonwealth spokesman’, said: ‘Jesus was one man, we’re his army. Farage is one man, and we’re his army and that’s what it’s all about.

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