The UK Independence Party is a ultra-right-wing anti-immigration party with strong streaks of racism, homophobia, sexism and other unsavoury beliefs in both its rank-and-file and its leadership. Having made the transition to a mainstream party -- one that's sucking up disaffected Tory voters in bulk -- they've adopted and sometimes even enforced principles against outright racism and sexism, but the membership haven't quite got the message.
Case in point: William Henwood, a UKIP candidate in local elections for Enfield council, tweeted that comedian, actor and beloved British institution Lenny Henry should move to a "black country" if he was concerned about a lack of representation for people of colour in the media. (He had previously tweeted a comparison between Islam and the Third Reich).
So, what of UKIP and its much-vaunted anti-racist, anti-sectarian official programme? Don't hold your breath. A UKIP spokesman told the BBC that there are people who say things like this in all the parties in their social media streams, but only UKIP is singled out for scrutiny by the biased media, and called reporting on candidates who publicly tell Lenny Henry to move to a "black country" a "smear campaign."
UKIP are in the lead for EU elections next month.
A UKIP spokesman said: "Any breach of our rules will be duly investigated and action will be taken.
"However one has to question why the other parties are spending hours behaving like secret police and trawling through the social media of UKIP candidates who are everyday men and women, rather than actually doing politics.
"Perhaps if they did they would be better able to tackle us on policy, rather than having to rely on smear campaigns to try to undermine UKIP's increasing popularity.
"Were we to return the favour we would find an even greater wealth of embarrassment and disgrace in the other three parties' ranks to also spread across the media."
UKIP candidate William Henwood defends Lenny Henry tweet [BBC]
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(Image: Lenny Henry, Jane McCormick Smith, CC-BY-SA)
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