Shamed Ukip candidate: my language was no worse than Fools and Horses

Only Fools And Horses

The Ukip candidate who resigned after he was taped referring to “fucking disgusting poofters” and a “Chinky” has warned other parliamentary hopefuls to beware of dark arts within the party.

Kerry Smith, who had recently been reinstated as a candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock, was criticised after a recording of him using homophobic and racist language was leaked to a Sunday newspaper.

On Tuesday night, Smith gave an interview to the BBC saying he had been too politically incorrect, but that his language had been “no worse than watching an old episode of Fools and Horses, to be fair”.

“I come from the East End. The word was never offensive and if you talked politically correct where I grew up, you were battered for being a boffin,” he said.

He went on to warn that other candidates should be “very, very afraid” in case more secret recordings existed because there were “dark arts” at work to stop some people being selected.

Smith declined to offer further examples of what he meant to the Guardian.

The remarks made by Smith more than two years ago were uncovered by the Mail on Sunday, which reported that he called members of a Ukip gay group called LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) “fucking disgusting old poofters” and branded them “BLTs”.

The newspaper said he also joked about “shooting peasants”, referred to a woman with a Chinese name as a “Chinky”, made claims he later retracted about the party leader, Nigel Farage, and called Steven Woolfe, Ukip’s immigration spokesman, a “fucking carpetbagger” and an “arsehole”.

Ukip initially stood by him, saying that he had been on strong sedatives for an injury at the time, but he later resigned as a candidate and then from the party entirely.

Suzanne Evans, Ukip’s deputy chair, later suggested he had been “pushed”. A party spokesman said on Tuesday night that Smith was no longer a member and could say what he liked, but they “do not recognise the story”.

The South Basildon selection process has been chaotic for Ukip. In October, Smith was deselected without explanation, and a new contest was ordered, which was due to include Neil Hamilton, the former Conservative minister, and Natasha Bolter, a former Labour supporter.

The contest descended into chaos as questions were raised by Ukip about Hamilton’s expenses and Bolter became involved in a controversy about whether the party’s general secretary, Roger Bird, had made inappropriate sexual advances towards her.

She accused Bird of harassment, but after the party suspended him he hit back with text messages suggesting that they had been in a consensual romantic relationship.

After both Hamilton and Bolter withdrew as candidates, Smith won back his position as candidate in the Essex constituency.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason, political correspondent, for The Guardian on Tuesday 16th December 2014 19.17 Europe/London

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