(London) The UK Independence Party has become embroiled in a new racism row after one of its election candidates said Lenny Henry should leave Britain to live in a “black country”.
William Henwood, who is standing for Ukip in local elections in Enfield, north London, made the slur on Twitter after the black actor and comedian said there were not enough people from ethnic minorities on TV.
In response, Mr Henwood tweeted: “He should emigrate to a black country. He does not have to live with whites.”
In another Twitter post, Mr Henwood likened Islam to the Third Reich. He later defended the posts, telling the BBC he did not believe he had been offensive.
Conservative Health Minister Jeremy Hunt described the comments as “absolutely disgusting”, while figures within Ukip distanced themselves from them.
A statement from the anti-European Union party said it was a “non-racist, non-sectarian party” and said “any comments made by members that fail to uphold these values will be duly investigated and acted upon”.
The party’s deputy chairman, the former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, said he had devised “strict rules on racism” but added that “unpleasant” comments by “unknown” activists were prevalent in “every party”.
The comments came days after Ukip suspended one of the stars of the party’s European election broadcast after he made a series of racist remarks on Twitter, including abuse of Nigerians.
Andre Lampitt, a Ukip council candidate, also said Islam is “evil” and claimed Labour leader Ed Miliband was not British. Ukip described Mr Lampitt’s opinions as “repellent”.
The party was also attacked by its political rivals for using an Irish actor on a campaign poster complaining about British labourers losing out to foreign workers.