Ukip won't discipline councillor in 'anyone but a Muslim' row

A party spokesperson said that as a transgender woman, Sarah Larkins has a 'specific perspective' on the issue

Charlie Cooper
Whitehall Correspondent
@charliecooper8
Tuesday 29 March 2016 00:28
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Ukip councillor Sarah Larkins, whose comments have caused yet more in-fighting within the party
Ukip councillor Sarah Larkins, whose comments have caused yet more in-fighting within the party

Ukip has said it will not discipline a local councillor and deputy mayor of Ramsgate who said that London should elect “anyone but a Muslim” to be mayor.

A spokesperson for the party said that Councillor Sarah Larkins had a “specific perspective” on the issue “as a transgender woman”.

The comment was posted to the party’s LGBTQ Facebook page, beneath a picture of a mayoral candidates’ ‘Pride in London’ hustings last week.

Another member of the Facebook group posted to the group: “don’t let any Islamist scum be mayor”.

The latest controversy comes after the party descended into in-fighting last week, following the suspension of its former deputy chair Suzanne Evans, for criticising a fellow Ukip candidate and for presenting herself as a spokesperson for the party without authority. Ms Evans failed in a High Court bid last week to overturn her suspension. She told LBC Radio that she felt she had been “bullied” by some in the party, although not by leader Nigel Farage.

Ms Evans had previously criticised Ukip London Assembly candidate Alan Craig for advocating ‘gay cure’ therapy.

However Ukip’s current deputy chairman and MEP, William Dartmouth, said that Ms Evans was replaced as deputy chair because she “never took the trouble to get her head around the basic arguments” the party was making in favour of Brexit.

Lord Dartmouth, who replaced Ms Evans in the role, said that she had been invited to speak for Ukip on BBC programmes “in preference to people who were and are better qualified”.

“For the record, Suzanne Evans is notably pleasant to meet,” he writes. “However Suzanne never took the trouble to get her head around the basic arguments. That is why the BBC incessantly asked her to appear on TV to represent the Ukip/Brexit case, in which she consistently failed.”

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