UKIP MEP who allegedly called lesbian MEP ‘queer’ embroiled in race row

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A UKIP MEP who allegedly called a lesbian politician “queer” has become embroiled in a race row after using the phrase “Bongo Bongo Land”.

Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament for the UK Independence Party, was recorded last month at a meeting in Wordsley, West Midlands, saying overseas aid was being spent on items like sunglasses and Ferraris.

He said: “How we can possibly be giving £1bn a month, when we’re in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo Land is completely beyond me.

“To buy Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it that goes with most of the foreign aid.

“F18s for Pakistan. We need a new squadron of F18s. Who’s got the squadrons? Pakistan, where we send the money.”

Mr Bloom is standing by his comments, but Labour called the language “offensive and narrow-minded”.

In 2010, Mr Bloom was accused by lesbian MEP Nikki Sinclaire of abusively calling her “queer” – at the time UKIP and Mr Bloom denied the claims.

Ms Sinclaire subsequently left UKIP and successfully sued the party on allegations of sexual discrimination in December 2010.

Mr Bloom was criticised by the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights in January 2012 for asking the European Commission to justify funding given to the European branch of the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), part of one of the world’s oldest LGBT organisations.

At the time a UKIP spokesman told that Mr Bloom was not homophobic but was simply looking out for the interests of the taxpayer.

Mr Bloom was ejected from the European Parliament chambers in 2010 after heckling German MEP Martin Schulz with the Nazi slogan: “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer.”