UKIP drops planned candidate who claims gays should ‘repent’

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The UK Independence Party has dropped plans to select a notoriously anti-gay Christian preacher as a candidate.

The party asked Mark Taylor, its existing Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Coventry South, to stand aside last week – reportedly to make way for former Christian Party leader George Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves, who co-wrote Sinitta’s gay anthem ‘So Macho’, stood against bisexual Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie in 2007 claiming his bisexuality is “sinful” – and has also claimed that gays should “repent and turn to Christ”.

However, it is now understood that Mr Hargreaves has been quietly dropped by UKIP – and Mark Taylor re-instated as the party’s PPC.

Coventry UKIP chair Colin Stubbs told the Coventry Telegraph: “This has not been handled in the best way. The decision to reinstate Mark is right and proper and shows that head office does listen eventually.

“I don’t know how this happened, but we are a growing political party and perhaps we have people in place who are overworked.

“I don’t know how George Hargreaves got involved with the party or how he was chosen. But we will put this behind us and the pressure now is on the elections.”

Mr Tayor added: “I was originally disappointed at being asked to stand aside. But in the last few days I received a phone call and was asked to restand and I said yes.

“I’m pleased because I was initially frustrated at being asked to stand aside by the national party HQ’s candidate team. The support, particularly from the local branch, was heartwarming.

“It’s an unnecessary distraction and I’m a little bit frustrated, we could have done without this. But I’m pleased that I am now back in and I can continue with this campaign.”