Gay-friendly Wakefield pub backs UKIP

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A gay-friendly pub in Wakefield has divided its regulars – by endorsing the UK Independence Party.

The Harewood Arms, located in Wakefield’s city centre, announced on Facebook over the weekend that it was throwing its weight behind the UK Independence Party.

Landlord Matt Eason wrote in a message to UKIP Wakefield: “We believe in a lot of the policies UKIP stands for regarding the pub industry and would like to let you know we show our support.

“I had a lovely chat with [PPC] Alan [Hazelhurst] this week and we will be organising a few things at the pub to help the campaign and will let you all know more when we know what’s happening!”

He added that the pub had received a “Marmite love it or hate it of reception from some people” over the change – with some of the gay regulars shocked the pub would look past the string of homophobic comments made by UKIP candidates.

One commenter wrote on the pub’s Facebook page: “A gay pub that supports UKIP… This pub should be given a miss.”

Another said: “Drinking elsewhere now. F*** this UKIP.”

The landlord confirmed that the pub would hold “a rally style meet and greet evening” with the party – but added: “Anyone offended by politics or the party in question will know about the event so if they choose not to visit the pub that night they can do just that.”

He added: “We’ve said many times we won’t be ramming our UKIP support in the face of customers you can still come in and have a normal drink in a normal pub, our view isn’t to try and brainwash our customers into voting for someone they don’t want to.”

UKIP Wakefield and UKIP LGBT have both praised the pub for the announcement.