Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is facing fresh allegations about his honesty after he wrongly claimed he was a board member of a training charity.
In September 2009, an article published on Mr Nuttall’s website stated he had accepted an invitation to join the board of the North West Training Council (NWTC).
It quoted Mr Nuttall as saying: “If facilities like this existed for youngsters when I was at school, many of my classmates would have kept on the straight and narrow.
He then said: “I was very impressed by my visit to the NWTC and have nothing but praise for their contribution. They are doing a first-class job and I am thrilled at the honour of being a board member.”
However, the organisation’s chief executive, Paul Musa, said that, while Nuttall had visited the NWTC several years ago, he had never served on the board.
Mr Musa told The Guardian: “Mr Nuttall was never invited to become a board member of NWTC as this would need to be a directive of the NWTC board, who he never met.”
The Ukip’s leader’s name does not appear on any documentation filed by the NWTC with either Companies House or the Charity Commission, the paper reported.
The row is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding Mr Nuttall, who is the Ukip candidate in the make-or-break Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election in just five days’ time.
Last week, he was forced to admit, during a live radio interview, that claims made on his website that he had lost “close personal friends” in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 were not true.
And, at Ukip’s spring conference in Bolton yesterday, he refused to back up his claim he could “prove” he was at the match, after that was also disputed.
In 2012, in a letter to the Liverpool Echo, Mr Nuttall described himself as a “Leppings Lane survivor” – a reference to the terrace where 96 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death.
But one of his former teachers has said his school believed it had been aware of the identities of every boy who had been at Hillsborough, in order to help them, and that Mr Nuttall was not among them.
The Ukip’s leader’s website also originally claimed that he played football professionally for Tranmere Rovers, when in fact he only ever played for the youth side as an amateur.
And his LinkedIn page claimed, until last year, that he had been awarded a doctorate in history. It later emerged that he had started the course but subsequently dropped out.
Mr Nuttall at first said he did not know who had created the page and later explained the error as the work of an “overenthusiastic researcher”. The false statements about friends at Hillsborough and playing for Tranmere Rovers were blamed on a press officer. His website has since been taken offline.
The Independent has asked Ukip to respond to the latest revelation that he was not a board member of the vocational training charity.
In a defiant speech in Bolton, Mr Nuttall said: “I take the blame for the fact that I failed to check what I put up on my website in my name. That is my fault and I apologise.
“But I do not apologise for what is a coordinated, cruel and almost evil smear campaign that has been directed at me. It is based on lies from sources who have not been named. It has been a tough week for me, but I will not allow it to break me and I will not allow them to break Ukip.”