After Ukip’s success in the local elections there has been growing interest in what sort of people the party attracts. In Lincolnshire, Chris Pain, leader of the 16 Ukip councillors who are now the main opposition on the county council, denies writing offensive comments posted under his name on Facebook. “My email has been hacked several times. I have got someone looking into this, but it has been a shock to find out how easy it is to do,” he tells me.
It would be interesting to know whether his fellow Ukip councillor, Alan Jesson, a retired policeman, has had the same problem. Just before he was elected, The Spalding Guardian reported him as saying about immigrants: “If they work hard, pay tax, stay on the right side of the law and have sufficient funds to pay their way, then maybe some can stay. Others – no chance.”
The Hope Not Hate website has now picked up comments made on Facebook, apparently coming from him. One was directed at a Polish woman: “F*** off we don’t need you sweetheart we get along just fine without you.” Another suggests: “Mosques need banning until they adopt sexual equality and gay relationships and conform to British culture.”
But lest anyone think he is tolerant of homosexuality, there is another post: “Gay people have no rights to marry in church as God does not recognise this action ... Just because a growing number of people have had it with the Gay community doesn’t make them frightened of Gays in fact I believe most gays are indeed Hetrophobic [sic].” Councillor Jesson has yet to respond to an inquiry as to whether these posts reflect what he really believes.
Calm down, dears
It has been suggested that Eric Joyce MP, formerly of the Labour Party, could do with some training in anger management, after being involved in yet another alleged incident at the weekend, at Edinburgh airport.
Meanwhile Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West, was so infuriated when Jonathan Pryor, a Leeds University student, posted a sarcastic comment on Twitter about his record on gay marriage, that he replied: “I am very glad I have never met you Jonathan as you are a disingenuous, manipulative, illiberal little shit!” After other users had chided him for his rudeness, he added: “I shouldn’t have called him ‘little’ that was wrong whether he is or not. The rest, true.”
A happy ending
Sheryll Murray, Tory MP for South East Cornwall, lost her husband Neil, a trawlerman, in a grim fishing accident two years ago. She says that she never thought she would find love again, but she has, with Bob Davidson, a town councillor from St Austell. Good luck to them both.