UKIP MP Douglas Carswell: Party shouldn’t tolerate ‘pejorative’ comments

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

UKIP’s first elected MP Douglas Carswell has called for his party to be less tolerant of racist and homophobic comments.

Mr Carswell – who voted against same-sex marriage – defected from the Conservatives in August, before winning a by-election under the UKIP banner in Clacton. He was later followed by a second MP, Mark Reckless, in Rochester.

This month, UKIP candidate Kerry Smith was caught on tape ranting about “f**king disgusting old poofters”, and referring to a woman as a “chinky bird”.

The party continued to defend Mr Smith’s comments until he opted to step down.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday today, Mr Carswell appeared to reference the row, saying: “Far from being a party that tolerates pejorative comments about people’s heritage and background, UKIP in 2015 has to show that we have a serious internationalist agenda.

“We stand to realign our trade relations precisely because we wish to join in with the rest of the world.

“No UKIP candidate should ever make the mistake of blaming outsiders for the failings of political insiders in Westminster.”

He added: “UKIP has had a remarkable year. No longer a mere protest party, we won the European elections and showed that we have what it takes to win seats in Parliament.

“Ahead of May’s General Election, we now have to show the whole country that we have what it takes to win big. That means an optimistic, internationalist and inclusive agenda for the whole country.”