UKIP politician quits party over its refusal to back same-sex marriage

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A UKIP politician has quit his party and resigned as a councillor over the party’s refusal to support same-sex marriage.

Martin Jenkins, who was elected in May 2013, said he was “fed up” over UKIP’s continued refusal to back same-sex marriage.

In an apparent UKIP breakdown in internal communication last month, PinkNews received answers to a readers’ Q&A confirmed by an official spokesman to have been approved by Nigel Farage which stated that the party was reviewing all of its policies including its previously stated opposition to same-sex marriage.

One day later, Mr Farage released a statement reiterating the party’s opposition to same-sex marriage, claiming the answers to the Q&A were sent in error. 

In a debate last week with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Farage said he would not support same-sex marriage while Britain remained as a member of the European Court of Human Rights.

On watching Question Time last week, Jenkins spoke of UKIP MEP Roger Helmer saying he was “uncomfortable” with same-sex marriage.

Jenkins said: “I was watching it with my partner and as the audience booed, we started to boo too.

“We then sat there in stunned silence. I thought ‘this is the party I represent, I can’t do this any more’.

“Everything UKIP has said about gay marriage, refusing to accept it, I can’t agree with that.

“I am very sad about it but that’s my view. I have also resigned from the county council because I think it’s right I do that, I was elected under a UKIP banner and people backed me because of that.

“I could stay on as an independent but I went to the voters on the basis I was UKIP and it’d be wrong to stay on as anything else.”

The 42-year-old runs a business helping adults get fitter.

Jenkins’ resignation leaves UKIP in Worscestershire with only one seat, despite winning four last year.

One councillor, Eric Kitson, resigned ten days after he was discovered to have posted racist and anti-Semitic sentiments on Facebook, and fellow UKIP councillor Tony Baker died of a heart attack.

A by-election will now take place in Arrow Valley East, to coincide with the European elections on 22 May.