Nigel Farage has said the London Gay Pride Parade is prejudiced against Ukip after it “outlawed” the party from attending.
“There can be little doubt that Ukip is the most demonised political party in Britain today,” he said.
In an outspoken column for the Daily Express on Friday, Farage criticised parts of the media and political class for trying to “incite hatred against Ukip”.
“There seems to be a new modern phenomenon in British politics that no matter how nasty, there is no level of prejudice that is unacceptable as long as it is directed against Ukip," Farage said.
“Indeed, the party has been banned, outlawed in fact from attending the London Gay Pride Parade, which I was under the impression was about standing for tolerance rather than censorship and hate.”
The 9 worst car crash interviews in recent politics
The 9 worst car crash interviews in recent politics
1/6 Chloe Smith on Newsnight
George Osborne was enjoying a good day as he scrapped a planned 3p rise in fuel duty in June, 2012. But then someone had the bright idea of putting Chloe Smith, a junior Treasury minister and then something of a rising star for the Tories, on Newsnight. But she was unable to convincingly answer a single question posed to her by Jeremy Paxman, even the ultimate killer blow: “Do you ever think you’re incompetent?”
2/6 Boris Johnson on Andrew Marr
Eddie Mair, standing in for Mr Marr during his stroke recovery, might have been seen as something of a soft touch in March 2013 before he destroyed the London Mayor on the BBC’s flagship Sunday current affairs show. Mair presented a series of anecdotes about the harsher side to the fluffy-seeming Mr Johnson’s rise to power and concluded: “You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?” Boris didn’t quite seem to know how to respond.
3/6 Ed Miliband on Good Morning Britain
Labour’s leader faced some slightly inevitable accusations of being “out of touch with reality” from ITV’s Susannah Reid after she surprised him with a “how much does X cost question”. This time it was during an interview on how much he knew about his much-vaunted “cost of living crisis” – and Mr Miliband underestimated the average household grocery bill per week by about a third. He admitted he was wrong – but later tried to wriggle out of the situation by claiming he was only referring to “basic groceries” not his “overall shopping bill”.
4/6 Rachel Reeves on Daily Politics
The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary got very mixed up on whether Labour were promising “a freeze or a cap” – when energy prices actually stopped rising and fell. Refusing to accept that her party had enacted a u-turn on policy, she said: “It wasn’t us who changed – it’s the world that changed.” She later couldn’t give any examples of retail prices being successfully fixed by governments – stumping for “the minimum wage – the price of labour”.
5/6 David Cameron on Gay Times
Grilled on his MEPs’ voting records on gay rights in the European Parliament, a pre-prime ministerial Mr Cameron suggested they could vote any way they liked. But he also said the right not to suffer discrimination based on sexuality was a fundamental human right – meaning it should not be subject to an open vote. The former PR man got so flustered he had to ask for the cameras to be turned off because he was getting “distracted”.
6/6 Nigel Farage on LBC
Nigel Farage’s image as a plain-speaking, not-like-that-lot-in-Westminster politician suffered one of a number of dents in May 2014, when a tense 22-minute confrontation with LBC’s James O’Brien had to be cut short by his spin doctor. Patrick O’Flynn – who is now an MEP for Ukip – had to step in when Mr Farage was repeatedly questioned on his views on race and why he would be uncomfortable if a group of Romanian nationals moved in next door to him.
The politician said although he was “sorry not to confirm” the prejudices of the “metropolitan elite”, Ukip had many gay members.
Organisers of Pride in London faced criticism from campaigners after initially approving the attendance of UKIP LGBT+ to the parade, set to take place on 27 June.
Earlier this month, political campaigner Peter Tatchell told PinkNews: “It is not appropriate for any organisation that opposes LGBTI equality to participate in the Pride London parade. Ukip campaigned against same-sex marriage and supports the right of faith organisations to discriminate against LGBTI people.”
A petition set up to remove Ukip from the parade won the support of more than 2,300 people.
In a statement from the Board of Directors of LGBT+ London Community Pride made after turning down Ukip's application to join the parade, it said: "We aim to unite our community, not divide it, and our intention is to serve the whole of our community with an inclusive event, so to exclude any group is not a decision we take lightly."
The statement said the decision was not "made on a political basis" and that it was undeniable that there were LGBT+ members of Ukip.
Farage's column went on to discuss Kellie Maloney, who had previously ran for a Ukip parliamentary candidate in 2010, but this year showed support for the Conservative party.
“I wondered why,” said Farage. “Then I found out that Kellie came under a huge amount of pressure and indeed abuse from some in the LGBT community for her links with Ukip.”
This, he said, was illustrative of “wider attempts by segments of the media and political class to incite hatred against Ukip”.
Deliberately trying to “whip up animosity” towards Ukip was “one of the most disgusting elements of British politics today," he said.Reuse content