Less than two days before voting begins in the Croydon North by-election, Winston McKenzie has been disowned by his own party’s local chairman who told Inside Croydon that he and other local UKIP members are “appalled” by their candidate’s homophobic views.
Peter Staveley, the chairman of UKIP Croydon, spoke of how he and others have long-held “misgivings” about McKenzie as a high-profile parliamentary candidate for their party.
McKenzie’s selection for the Croydon North by-election had already split the local UKIP party in two.
This week’s row erupted when McKenzie said that he opposed children being fostered by gay couples, and suggested that being fostered by a gay couple could affect the child’s sexuality.
The comments made the front page of today’s Metro newspaper and the local BBC evening news, and seem certain to signal the end of McKenzie’s faltering political ambition – at least with UKIP in Croydon. McKenzie had stood for UKIP in the London Assembly elections earlier this year.
Peter Staveley, the chairman of UKIP Croydon, said today, “For the last year or so, many of us in UKIP expressed frequent misgivings about Winston.
“I hope that readers of Inside Croydon will understand that we, UKIP members, did not want Winston in UKIP and that he does not reflect the views of most UKIP Croydon members.
“Myself and most members of UKIP in Croydon are appalled at the way Winston said it. This is especially true after the issue of the Rotherham fostering issue last Saturday,” Staveley said.
“I hope that residents of Croydon will forgive UKIP for allowing this to happen and will be willing to vote for UKIP candidates in the Croydon local elections plus the European elections in 2014.”
Click on any of the links below to read responses to questionnaires sent to candidates in the by-election:
- Ben Stevenson, Communist party
- Marisha Ray, Liberal Democrats
- John Loony, OMRLP
- Andy Stranack, Conservative
- Steve Reed, Labour
- Shasha Khan, Green
- Lee Jasper, Respect
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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- UKIP’s Farage to campaign in Croydon against gay marriage (insidecroydon.com)
- UKIP candidate McKenzie fails to deliver his own brothers (insidecroydon.com)
- Ukip byelection candidate calls gay adoption ‘child abuse’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Croydon North’s sense of neglect holds key to byelection (guardian.co.uk)