A newly elected Ukip councillor has become the latest party member to face accusations of racism and homophobia, just days after Nigel Farage celebrated unprecedented gains in local elections in England.
Dave Small, who has just been selected as a councillor for the Redditch borough council in Worcestershire, already faces the prospect of being kicked out of the party after he reportedly described gay people as “perverts” and immigrants as “money-grabbing scum”.
In a series of comments on Facebook which came to light minutes after his successful election on Friday, Mr Small apparently claimed that “migration from Muslim countries” led to the spread of TB in Britain, the Redditch Standard reported.
That post was entitled “Muslims and the threat they pose to our way of life”, and in others people from Mali and Romania were called “scroungers” and Birmingham was described as full of “jabbering in an alien voice” and “men [who] wear their Pyjamas”.
In another post on Mr Small’s profile, under the headline “Britain used to be for the British”, he appeared to have written: “Our once great country has become the dust bin for all the world wide money grabbing scum.
“Why on earth is this useless Government[sic] pandering to Puffs?” he reportedly wrote. “I refuse to call them gays, as what has gay to do with Perverts like Elton John and Clair[sic] Balding who get their jollies in such disgusting ways. To sum up, they should not allowed to be married, they should go back to the closet.”
Ukip gaffes and controversies
Ukip gaffes and controversies
1/18 European elections poster
Party's latest EU election posters branded 'racist' and compared to BNP campaigns
2/18 Farage 'car-crash' interview
Ukip spin doctor forced to intervene as Farage falters in disastrous radio interview
3/18 Neil Hamilton
Picture Exclusive: The year is 1998. The venue is a Springbok Club meeting. The flag is a symbol for white supremacists in South Africa. And the speaker is Ukip’s deputy chairman, Neil Hamilton
4/18 Kerry Smith
Kerry Smith resigned as would-be MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock after it emerged he had mocked gay party members as “disgusting poofters”, joked about shooting people from Chigwell in a “peasant hunt” and referred to someone with a Chinese name as a “Chinky bird”
5/18 Natasha Bolter
Former Ukip member Natasha Bolter was suspected of not having the teaching qualifications she professed to, only days after it was revealed that claims of her having attended Oxford University were also false
6/18 Ukip Calypso song
Mike Reid released a single in praise of UKIP trying to control the UK's borders, only to withdraw the single after being accused of racism for singing in a Jamaican accent
7/18 Janice Atkinson
Janice Atkinson, Ukip's South East chair, pictured by protesters while campaigning in Ashford, Kent with local party chair Norman Taylor
8/18 Ukip cancels Freephone
Ukip cancels Freephone number after protesters repeatedly called to push up costs
9/18 Farage 'car-crash' interview
Mr Farage appeared to be caught out on a number of issues, from Romanian neighbours to people speaking foreign languages on the train
10/18 Ukip employs illegal immigrants
Ukip criticised after European election candidate found employing illegal immigrants
11/18 Magnus Nielsen
Ukip candidate: 'Take away the right to vote to improve election turnout'
12/18 Poster model
A “British builder” portrayed in a Ukip poster accusing EU workers of taking UK jobs turns out to be an Irish actor - aka a migrant worker
13/18 'Arrest protesters'
Ukip called for police to arrest protesters ‘who call us fascists’ ahead of showdown with anti-fascist groups in Brighton
14/18 London Live make-up
Ukip's Nigel Farage reportedly refused to go on London Live 'without professional make up-artist'
15/18 Andre Lampitt
Ukip forced to suspend the "poster boy" of its European election broadcast, after it was revealed he had posted a series of vile racist comments on Twitter
Nigel Farage says he is taking taking legal advice over “outrageous” allegations that he is responsible for more than £50,000 of “missing” EU funding that was paid directly into his personal bank account
17/18 Have I Got News For You
Nigel Farage appears in Have I Got News For You, spends the entire episode being ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
18/18 Anti-gay comments
Local branch chairman for Ukip defends a party's councillor candidate Douglas Denny who called gay people “abnormal” and said he wished “they stop trying to ram it down my throat”, all while discussing whether the word “sodomite” should be used
Ukip claimed 30 of a possible 350 council seats in the West Midlands, and one of the party’s prospective MEPs for the region, Jim Carver, told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme: “If we are going to challenge in the general election we need to have a strong footprint in local councils.”
When questioned on Dave Small’s alleged comments, Mr Carver said he was “personally very angry at how this situation arose” and that the party “distance ourselves from that completely”.
“I have no truck with any of those comments,” he said, before adding that he had spoken to the party chairman and was told there would be a “full, fair and thorough investigation”.
Mr Small’s Ukip colleague Stuart Cross, who represents Redditch South on Worcestershire County Council, said: “If he has said that, then it is utterly disgraceful and he needs to immediately resign. There is no place for people like that either with Ukip or as a councillor.”
The party issued a statement saying that the case would be looked into as part of “an established disciplinary procedure”. Similar incidents in the past have seen members kicked out of the party.
Stonewall's acting chief executive, Ruth Hunt, condemned the comments, telling the Guardian that Ukip would be “judged by the company they keep”.
She said: “These reprehensible views have no place in modern Britain. We hope the party leadership reviews these comments as a matter of urgency.”
It is not the first time Ukip has been at the centre of either a homophobia or a racism row – and at all levels of the party.
Its candidate for the parliamentary by-election in Newark and the man fighting to become Ukip's first ever MP, Roger Helmer, was criticised at the start of May for saying it was “morally acceptable to prefer heterosexuality over homosexuality, or vice versa”, and comparing homophobia to having “different tastes in tea”.
And Mr Farage himself was accused of being “a racist” following comments he made about feeling “uncomfortable” at the thought of having a Romanian family move in next-door to him.