Ukip chairman advocated 'termination' of Down's syndrome foetuses and 'breaking from the EU by force' claims Tory MP
An outgoing Ukip chairman who in personal correspondence advocated the termination of foetuses with Down’s syndrome and also that the UK should break from the EU “by force of arms if necessary” has resigned from the party after being thanked for his contribution, which a branch spokesperson said “allowed Ukip to grow and prosper in this region”.
John Upex, the former chairman of Ukip’s Harrogate & Knaresborough Association and parliamentary candidate, made the comments in letters to Conservative MP Mr Andrew Jones.
His resignation came after Mr Jones responded to a four page advert that Mr Upex had taken out in a local paper, copying in the executive chairman of the Ukip branch and quoting some of Mr Upex's views.
Mr Jones’ letter included a number of controversial views he insisted the Ukip parliamentary candidate had held in letters to Mr Jones over the years. As The Independent’s Andy McSmith notes in his diary, this included a statement: “If there is to be a blood-letting in this country, there are a lot of people who would be candidates for my supply of piano wire.” The comments referred to a possible civil war over the EU. Piano wire has been used as a silent garotte to kill people since World War II.
However Mr Upex told The Independent his remarks had been taken out wildly of context, adding “this is a complete travesty.”
He said: “Mr Jones accuses me of eugenics. This is a complete travesty. My view is that abortion is a necessary but not very pleasant evil. With current medical science where do you draw the line? My personal view is that up to nine weeks is OK but later than that, I couldn’t do it. In cases like Down's syndrome or spina bifida, I know children in that state and it is horrible for everyone. In cases like that termination might be the best thing.”
Additionally he wished to clarify remarks about the UK breaking from the EU by force, saying “Before Ukip we had three parties that had no difference. We are in exactly the same situation as the Eastern Bloc countries before the Berlin Wall came down. You could either choose as communist or a communist. If that’s the case you can’t deny the population the right to rise. As a country, we have endorsed, intervened, aided and armed people in the same situation.”
Ukip’s Harrogate & Knaresborough Association released the following statement, saying “We have accepted the resignation of its chairman, John Upex, following a difference of opinion of views and policies.In addition, Mr Upex will stand down as the Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the 2015 general election.A branch spokesman said: “We would like to thank John for his contribution over the last few years which has allowed UKIP to grow and prosper in this region.”
However Mr Upex admitted that Mr Jones letter and his own resignation “were not unconnected” adding that Ukip’s rise in popularity meant the game had changed and that it was now more of a corporate entity, “playing in the midfield.”
His comments are supported by Nigel Farage’s own remarks. He told the The Times earlier in January that he wanted to continue to “professionalise” the party ahead of polling and suggested that some candidates must curb their eccentric views.
His comments came after Oxfordshire councillor David Silvester claimed that the recent floods had been God’s punishment for new gay marriage laws. However since then, Ukip has been deluged with further embarrassment.
Ukip MEP Gerard Batten has been urged to clarify his remarks after he called for British Muslims to sign a special code of conduct that would reject violence and “re-examine and address the meaning and application” of the Qur’an.
The revelations about Batten came the same day that Ukip leaders distanced the party from Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto, its former Commonwealth spokesman, who was revealed by BBC Newsnight to have once been part of a kidnapping gang.
On Wednesday Ukip banned their former Scottish chairman Paul Henke for 100 years for bringing the party into ‘disrepute’ and ‘deliberately sabotaging’ their election campaign in Scotland. He had spoken to a Scottish Sunday newspaper to raise concerns about another party member.
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