Controversial Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom loses party whip after calling women 'sluts' at conference event and hitting television reporter around the head

Bloom’s bizarre behaviour overshadowed the first day of Ukip’s annual party’s conference

Deputy Political Editor

An outspoken Euro-MP has lost the UK Independence Party whip after he jokingly described women as “sluts” and hit a television reporter around the head with a copy of the party’s conference agenda.

Godfrey Bloom’s bizarre behaviour – which came after the party’s leader Nigel Farage admitted controversial comments by senior figures presented “occasional difficulties” – overshadowed the first day of Ukip’s annual gathering.

Tonight Mr Farage condemned the latest comments by Mr Bloom, who has created a succession of embarrassing headlines for the party in recent months.

He added: “My opinion is Godfrey has gone beyond the pale. He’s a friend of mine and I’m sorry to say it but he has gone beyond the pale and I think we have no option but to remove the whip from him.”

Shortly afterwards the party’s chairman, Paul Crowther, confirmed he had been stripped of the party ship.

The episode was an unwelcome distraction for Ukip, which had intended to use the London conference to boost its appeal to the voters after a hugely successful year. It has witnessed a dramatic surge of support in parliamentary by-elections and contests for council seats and has now set its sights on winning the largest number of votes in the European Parliament elections next May.

Mr Bloom found himself in hot water with party chiefs after heckling from the sidelines during a fringe event at the conference to discuss the issue of gender quotas.

Referring to the Euro-MP’s notorious comment eight years ago that women did not clean often enough behind the fridge, two female speakers light-heartedly discussed their cleaning habits.

Mr Bloom provoked laughter as he responded loudly: “This place is full of sluts.”

Confronted by reporters moments later about his aside, he said: “I made a joke and said ‘oh well you’re all sluts’ and everybody laughed, including all the women.”

His problems multiplied after he was tackled by Michael Crick, the Channel 4 political correspondent, about the absence of black faces on the front of the party’s conference agenda.

Mr Bloom stormed: “What a racist comment is that? How dare you? That’s an appalling thing to say. You’re picking people out for the colour of their skin, you disgust me.”

As he was chased down the road by Mr Crick, he snatched a copy of the booklet out of the broadcaster’s hand and hit him around the head with it.

The fracas follows a recent attack by Mr Bloom on the allocation of British aid to countries in “bongo bongo” land and a call for small firms to get the power to sack employees who become pregnant.

In his address to activists, Mr Farage acknowledged that being “the most independent-minded body of men and women” ever seen in British politics “presents occasional difficulties”.

He said: “We have some people with overactive Facebook accounts. And we have some who make public pronouncements that I would not always choose myself.”

He pointed the finger at Mr Bloom and Stuart Wheeler the party’s treasurer, who has suggested women should not be promoted to company boards because they were not as good as men at chess, bridge or poker.

“I had the most blistering row with Godfrey Bloom in a Strasbourg restaurant the other day. He wants to fight for his beliefs and I was saying that we need to stick to the big messages. I don’t always agree on policy with Stuart Wheeler either.

“But the essence of our recent success is our ability to push the boundaries of debate and with that, the national debate on many issues.”

Mr Farage told the London conference that Ukip was on course to “cause an earthquake” by winning next year's European elections in what he hopes will become a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

He claimed that council elections on the same day could prove even more important by building up concentrations of support that could translate into parliamentary seats in 2015.

His argument was underlined by Ukip’s capture of a council seat in Kent from the Conservatives yesterday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
The Aviva Premiership trophy
rugby union All the latest from Twickenham
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood
footballDanny Higginbotham: Tim Sherwood must play game of two halves to cause major upset
News
Caber is trained to help child victims of serious crimes testify
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor