UKIP suspends branch chair who said gay adoption is ‘child abuse’

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A UKIP branch chair who once equated gay adoption to “child abuse” has been suspended by the party after receiving a letter of no confidence from members.

Winston McKenzie, who unsuccessfully stood for UKIP in the 2012 Croydon North by-election, and unsuccessfully auditioned for X-Factor, was this week suspended by the party.

He received a letter of no confidence signed by a number of members, calling for him to step down as chairman of the branch. The rest of the Croydon North branch committee were also suspended.

Members also called for McKenzie to be deselected as the UKIP prospective Parliamentary candidate for Croydon North at next year’s general election.

McKenzie later spoke to the Croydon Advertiser to say he and the branch committee had been suspended.

He last week compared Nigel Farage to Jesus in a video interview and the branch was kicked out its offices in Croydon, after a group of HIV activists dumped a pile of horse manure outside on World AIDS Day.

It is unclear whether he remains as the Commonwealth spokesman for the party.

The Advertiser reports that he and the branch secretary were accused of misappropriating a £1,000 donation. While an investigation found that protocol had not been followed, they were cleared of having taken the funds.

McKenzie unsuccessfully fought the Croydon North by-election for UKIP in 2012. He was widely condemned for saying gay people should not be allowed to adopt children.

McKenzie, at the time UKIP’s spokesman for culture, media and sport, told the Croydon Advertiser: “If you couldn’t look after your child and you had to put them up for adoption would you honestly want your child to be adopted by a gay couple?

“Would you seriously want that or a heterosexual family? Which would be more healthy for the child?

“A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don’t believe (a gay couple) is healthy for a child.”

He then went further with his remarks, saying that same-sex adoption is the same as “child abuse”.

The Jamaican-born former youth worker and boxer failed in his bid to become a UKIP councillor in Croydon earlier this year.

In 2005, he unsuccessfully auditioned for the X Factor and has previously been a member of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.