Why David Silvester has been suspended from Ukip

The decision was taken due to the Oxford councillor's behaviour, not his views, and is similar to the action my party took over Godfrey Bloom

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There has been much coverage this weekend over comments made by David Silvester, a Ukip town councillor in Henley, over gay marriage.

Ukip does not suspend people for holding religious views any more than we would call for religious texts to be banned and firmly believe that tolerance is a two-way street. But the party chairman has decided on this occasion to use the emergency powers available to him to suspend Mr Silvester.

This is because of his behaviour, not his views, and is similar to the action we took over Godfrey Bloom when he decided that clunking Michael Crick around the head with a brochure was now permitted in the rules of engagement.

We cannot have one person using the party name to promote their own controversial views. I think the floods were caused by the weather and not by gay people, man-made climate change, or an increase in the consumption of hollandaise sauce in Bedfordshire.

Nigel Farage is leader of Ukip.

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