Nigel Farage: I’ve been utterly ruthless at weeding out unsuitable candidates

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UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed he has been “utterly ruthless” at weeding out unsuitable parliamentary candidates.

The leader took to the Andrew Marr Show to defend his party, after it was forced to suspend MEP Janice Atkinson over “financial irregularities”.

Mr Farage said: “The one thing you can say to me, look, you’ve had to lose this person and that person.

“I have been utterly ruthless as UKIP leader with people who’ve stepped over the line, whether it’s financial mismanagement or whether it’s saying things that frankly have erred towards racism.

“I have been ruthless at getting rid of people.”

Gay UKIP MEP David Coburn remains the party’s leader in Scotland – despite facing calls to resign after comparing Muslim SNP minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.

UKIP PPC Ted Strike remains a candidate for the party – despite claiming storms were an “act of God” caused by same-sex marriage.

UKIP’s Winston McKenzie remains a candidate for the party – despite claiming that same-sex adoption is child abuse, and saying he was “dismayed” to find out that Kellie Maloney is transgender.

Roger Helmer remains a UKIP MEP, despite a string of anti-gay comments – claiming that he should be able to dislike gay people in the same way as different types of tea.

When played a clip of himself making a similar promise about unsuitable candidates nearly 18 months ago, Mr Farage said: “Controlling human nature is not the easiest thing to do. When things do go wrong, I deal with them.”