A city councillor from Britain's right-wing UKIP says that recent rough weather is divine retribution for the legalization of gay 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," wrote David Silvester to his local newspaper, the Henley Standard. "I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill."
He assailed the Prime Minister David Cameron for his arrogance "against the Gospel" and said "It is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods."
An unusual shot of old-timey religion in the arse of Britain's smarmy, well-groomed political scene, Silverster was initially supported by his party. After news reports appeared, however, he was suspended by the UKIP, which released a statement condemning his remarks.
"We cannot have any individual using the Ukip banner to promote their controversial personal beliefs which are not shared by the party," said Roger Bird, the party's regional chairman.
Nigel Farage, leader of the UKIP, said he was working to remove anyone with "extremist, nasty or barmy views" from the party. "Of all the candidates we fielded, only about half a dozen have caused us any embarrassment," he told The Sun newspaper.
Farage later added, however, that the sudden row over Silvester's longstanding beliefs proves that the mainstream political parties are "scared witless" of UKIP's message.
"I think it is very interesting that, when Mr Silvester was saying these things in 2012 and 2013 as a Conservative town councillor in Henley, it was not a news story," he was quoted as saying in a Press Association report.
Many UKIP members are former Conservatives unhappy with that party's centrist and authoritarian leanings, in particular its assent to gay marriage and its hesitant opposition to immigration and continuned European Union membership. Though the uneasy marriage of libertarianism and right-wing traditionalism appears to be running out of steam in America, Britons are fresh to it and remain bemused: the UKIP, despite having no members of parliament, was yesterday voted Britain's "favorite" political party.