Godfrey Bloom, the Ukip MEP who sparked controversy by claiming British foreign aid should not be sent to “Bongo-Bongo land” and claimed that women are better at finding “mustard in the pantry” than driving cars, has embarrassingly confused Channel 4 News’ Faisal Islam for Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Replying to a post on Twitter by Channel 4 News’ economics editor Faisal Islam, Mr Bloom posted: “Perhaps you will let him [George Osborne] answer a question, unlike your one-sided rant at me?”
Mr Bloom was referring to a disastrous interview with Mr Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 News. Mr Bloom said that “President Bongo of Gabon [is] the current president of Gabon, and his name is Bongo”. The MEP eventually became frustrated with the questioning by Mr Guru-Murthy in the interview and stormed out.
The controversial politician was notified of his case of mistaken identity by Mr Islam shortly after: “Are you perhaps mistaken me for @krishgm? [Krishnan Guru-Murthy] He is a different person.”
@faisalislam Perhaps you will let him answer a question, unlike your one-sided rant at me?— Godfrey Bloom (@Goddersukip) September 9, 2013
Mr Bloom caused offence and was reprimanded by his party with his comments about Britain's foreign aid contributions in August. The Ukip MEP was caught on camera demanding the UK stop sending money to ‘Bongo Bongo’.
Speaking to ITV's Daybreak programme Mr Bloom insisted his comments were not racist as a bongo is a type of antelope, so he was simply referring to a land of the antelopes.
“If anybody would care to take a look at the Oxford dictionary this morning, they would find 'bongo' is a white antelope that lives in the forest,” he said.
He added: “There is no connotation of racism about whatsoever. 'Bongo Land' is the land of the antelope.”
The phrase has been notorious since former Tory minister Alan Clark used it to refer to Africa in 1985 in an official meeting. Ukip has now banned its members from using the phrase.
Mr Bloom courted even more controversy after he disparaged women drivers in a piece for Politics.co.uk: “Men and women care about different things on a micro-scale. Leaving the lavatory seat up, wet towels on the bed and the top left off the toothpaste will drive a wife mad. A man simply cannot understand what the problem is. Most wives do not regard putting petrol in the car as any part of their responsibility. Men cannot see the point in making the bed if you are going to get back in it tonight.”