A Ukip candidate has denied he is homophobic or racist despite using the phrase ““arse bandit” to refer to gay people and describing a Pakistani club as his “worst nightmare”.
Geoffrey Caton, who is standing for Nigel Farage’s party in the Merseyside seat of Wallasey, also shared an image suggesting same-sex marriage was a sin.
Criticising a Gay Pride march in Liverpool two years ago, Mr Caton said on Facebook that “being an arse bandit [is] nothing to be proud of].
He attempted to defend himself by saying the comments were taken out of context and said he accepts “times change,” despite making the remarks just two years ago.
He said his Christian faith led him to believe that “a man’s purpose is to marry a woman for children to propagate the family” and said that while he was not opposed to gay marriage now, he said it was wrong that heterosexual couples were not allowed to form civil partnerships.
Mr Caton is standing against Angela Eagle, the first openly lesbian MP.
Explaining his comments to the Liverpool Echo, he said:
“We are living in modern times now, times change I realise that. We have to move on with the times, I have now, and since then whatever I said obviously wasn’t right then and it’s not right now and I fully believe in being fully inclusive.”
He also denied he was not being racist when he posted this comment on Facebook:
He insisted he was referring to the “conditions” that made his experience the “worst nightmare” and not the fact it was a Pakistani venue.
His Facebook page was no longer available this morning.
The Independent has got together with May2015.com to produce a poll of polls that produces the most up-to-date data in as close to real time as is possible.
Click the buttons below to explore how the main parties' fortunes have changed:
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies