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That's a scandalous amount of controversies for just one party, UKIP

By the second half of 2014, Nigel Farage had run out of ways to say sorry – and was saying things like “mega, mega apologies” instead.

UKIP ARE NO strangers to controversy.

The party has been in existence for over two decades now — and its members have been courting controversy for almost as long.

Remember back in 2004, when MEP Godfrey Bloom said a small business owner would have have to be a “lunatic” to employ a woman of child-bearing age? (The irascible politician later quit the party, saying it had become too politically correct).

The party had a storming success in last May’s European elections, claiming 24 seats – more than any other political grouping in Britain.

They’ve been faring well in the polls recently too – but dropped by five points to 11 in the wake of the latest race-based controversy to hit the party…

Footage of UKIP councillor Rozanne Duncan saying she didn’t like ‘negroes’ was broadcast as part of a Channel 4 documentary on Sunday night.

Source: Robin Brant/YouTube

The local politician was expelled by the party last December after news of her bizarre rant emerged.

Yet again, party leader Nigel Farage had to say sorry for the actions of a UKIP member.

Then again, he’s had a busy 12 months of apologising.

Here’s what’s been going on on Planet UKIP since the start of last year…

Rochester and Strood by-election UKIP leader Nigel Farage Source: Stefan Rousseau

‘Gay marriage caused floods’

A councillor for the party – David Silvester – blamed January storms and floods across Britain on the Conservative-led coalition’s decision to bring-in same sex marriage.

“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 such as storms, disease, pestilence and war,” the former Tory said, in a letter to his local paper, adding:

I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill.

He was later expelled by the party.

The Romanians next door

The party took out a full page ad in the Daily Telegraph to insist it was not racist, after Farage said in a radio interview that he would be concerned if a group of people from Romania moved into the house next-door to him.

“The vast majority of Romanians who have come to the UK wish to better their lives and would make good neighbours,” the advertisement said.

He also told the BBC he regretted the fact that he was “completely tired out” during the interview and “didn’t use the form of words [...] that I would have liked to have used”.

farage Farage makes yet another apology, after his radio interview.

‘This is for UKIP?… We’re not playing’

The party tried to organise a carnival event with a “strong, positive message” in Croydon, south London – but again landed itself in the headlines for the wrong reasons after a steel band hired for the event refused to continue playing. 

‘Endurance Steel’ packed up their instruments after learning it was a UKIP event, and said they hadn’t been told when they were booked.

Afterwards – as he told reporters Farage would not be attending as planned, UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie referred to Croydon as “unsafe and a dump”.

He had earlier attempted to shout down a number of protesters at the event.

Source: I'm Incorrigible/YouTube

The ‘Clare Balding and Elton John are perverts’ scandal

Later in May, it was back to more familiar territory for the party. A simple, straight-forward homophobic/racist slur.

Councillor Dave Small was expelled from the party after saying on Facebook years previously that he thought African migrants were scroungers and that Elton John and Clare Balding were “perverts”.

He told his local BBC station that his views remained the same and that he had no regrets about the social media post.

He also insisted he was not racist as he had “a lot of black friends”.

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Hitler

In August, MEP Bill Etheridge refused to consider stepping down after giving a speech in which he praised Hitler’s “forceful” public speaking style.

The subsequent media storm was simply “opportunism” he insisted.

Etheridge’s Twitter profile currently describes him as “prospective parliamentary candidate”.

Another day, another apology

Farage offered his ‘mega, mega apologies’ (really) after a UKIP MEP described a supporter as a “ting tong from somewhere”.

Janice Atkinson had been recorded using the term about Fa Munday after an interview.

Her husband, Vincent Munday, said the comment had been outrageous, rude and offensive – and that both he and his wife would withdraw their UKIP membership

“No-one has ever spoken about me like that before,” Fa Mundy said.

me Farage apologises to Vincent and Fa Munday.

And finally…

Ending its (latest) year of controversies, general secretary Roger Bird was cleared by the party after a sexual harassment claim - but agreed to leave his position ‘by mutual consent’. 

A former candidate had accused him of propositioning her after her initial interview to run for election.

But Bird rejected her version of what had happened, saying they had had a consensual relationship.

UKIP said in a statement that Bird would be leaving his job due to the “unfortunate publicity” surrounding the claim.

Read: UKIP councillor fired over these “deeply racist” comments

Read: Nigel Farage has been named ‘Briton of the year’ by a newspaper … and people are livid

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