Andy McSmith's Diary: Send away the clown - Ukip sorry for 'unsuitable' councillor


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Indy Politics

Ukip has delivered a rare and fulsome apology over the behaviour of one of its members, who was elected this month to Worcestershire County Council.

Eric Kitson was a councillor for 14 days, then resigned after it was revealed that his now deleted Facebook contained, among other offensive posts, a picture of a Muslim being roasted alive on a fire fuelled by copies of the Koran.

There will be a by-election next month. Neil Jukes, a Ukip organiser in Worcestershire, has admitted that Mr Kitson was “clearly unsuitable” to be a councillor. Meanwhile, Ukip’s Chris Pain, who is now leader of the official opposition on Lincolnshire Council, seems to have gone to ground after weekend revelations about the racist content of a Facebook page in his name. He is quoted as saying it was hacked, but could not be contacted yesterday to be asked if he knew by whom, or why.

Tory choice of friends, and metaphors, iffy

Writing on the Conservative Home website, the Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price complains that the spectacle of colleagues flirting with Ukip is annoying “for those of us who are at the coalface in the fight against Labour”. Tory MPs should not use that metaphor. Almost nobody works “at the coal face” since the Tories closed the mines.

Feldman’s denial has Dorries’ eyes rolling

Lord Feldman’s denial that he described Tory activists as “mad, swivel-eyed loons” is not universally accepted. The wayward Tory MP Nadine Dorries, tweeted: “That Lord Feldman has denied ‘mad swivel-eyed loon’ comment is almost worse than the comment itself. No one will believe a word he says now.”

RBS top brass in Mess without Sir Fred

It is as if Stephen Hester and the other big cheeses at the Royal Bank of Scotland are hankering after their old buccaneering boss, Fred Goodwin. They are entertaining corporate guests at the Chelsea Flower Show tonight at a restaurant called Mess, which in an understated way is what Fred the Shred landed the bank and the British economy in. Presumably, they couldn’t find a restaurant called Deepest Do-Do.

Paragon of reactionary Britain resurfaces

Almost 30 years have gone by since Victoria Gillick was in the news, though her name still crops up in the training of GPs. In 1982, Mrs Gillick, a mother of five girls and five boys, took the West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority to court to try to prevent them giving contraceptive advice or treatment to girls under 16 without their parents’ consent.

The case went to the House of Lords, which laid down a strict set of conditions under which it is legal to help a young girl avoid pregnancy without her parents knowing. It is known as “Gillick competency”.

An older but no less opinionated Mrs Gillick surfaced at the weekend at an anti-immigration rally in Wisbech, which newly-elected Ukip councillors avoided lest they be accused of racism. Mrs Gillick’s husband, Gordon, is such a councillor.

She delivered an impassioned speech against licensing laws brought in by Labour, which were “the best thing possible to turn this country into an alcohol-soaked nation”. With Ukip on the up, we will hear more from the Mrs Gillicks of this land.