The General Secretary of UKIP has compared his party to the "Black Death" after it was nearly wiped out in the local elections.
Paul Oakley insisted they were "dormant" rather than "finished" after losing more than 90 council seats up for the vote.
He told the Radio 4 Today programme: "Think of the Black Death in the Middle Ages - it comes along, it causes disruption then it goes dormant...that's what we'll be doing. Our time isn't finished.
"Brexit is being betrayed and there is a lot of anger in the country about that."
Host Nick Robinson replied: "Can I just be clear - as general secretary of UKIP - you've just compared your party to the Black Death?"
Mr Oakley said: "Absolutely. What's wrong with that?"
When told it was responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of people, he said: "It also led to economic growth and the Renaissance, but this isn't a history lesson."
Asked to give an example of how UKIP might emulate the Black Death, he said: "It got rid of the whole issue of servitude and allowed people to go into the towns, escape their landlords and create their own businesses."
He later tweeted a famous image of a plague doctor wearing a beak-like mask containing pungent herbs and spices.
Former UKIP party chairman Steve Crowther described the Black Death analogy as "the political quote of the century".
Despite the losses, UKIP did manage to win one council seat from Labour in Derby's Boulton ward, leaving it with three councillors in the city.
The Black Death, which often left its victims with large swellings in the groin and armpits, is estimated to have killed half the population of Europe during the mid-14th Century.
It first spread to England in 1348 and there were recurring outbreaks throughout the next three centuries up to the Great Plague of London in 1665.
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