UKIP withdraws party whip for Godfrey Bloom as he vows to see out term as an independent (From Keighley News)
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UKIP withdraws party whip for Godfrey Bloom as he vows to see out term as an independent
A UK Independence Party MEP – whose constituency includes Keighley – claims a controversial comment that sparked a national furore was “a joke”.
Godfrey Bloom has had his party whip withdrawn after branding a room full of women “sluts”.
And on Tuesday he announced he will see out his term in office as an independent, but retain his UKIP membership.
Mr Bloom sparked a public outburst at UKIP’s conference in Westminster from party leader Nigel Farage, who said the controversy had overshadowed the entire event.
“The trouble with Godfrey is he is not a racist, he’s not an extremist or any of those things and he’s not even anti-women, but he has a sort of rather old-fashioned territorial army sense of humour that does not translate very well in modern Britain,” said Mr Farage.
“He’s a friend of mine and I’m sorry to say it but he has gone beyond the pale and I think we have no option but to remove the whip from him.”
Mr Bloom said: “I made a joke and said ‘oh well you’re all sluts’, and everybody laughed, including all the women.”
This week he thanked the “thousands” of people who had supported him with goodwill messages.
He added: “I have felt for some time now the ‘new UKIP’ is not really right for me anymore.
“However, our message is clear. Our wonderful and loyal membership will win through with their dedication and hard work. It has been a pleasure to work with them for 15 years.”
The MEP is no stranger to controversy.
Last month, he had to publicly apologise after it emerged he had questioned the use of foreign aid cash in “bongo bongo land” during a speech in the West Midlands.
Video footage showed him say: “How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we’re in this sort of debt, to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me.”
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