Winston McKenzie, the UKIP candidate for the Croydon North by-election, says he is to investigate controversial homophobic comments that appeared apparently from him on the Twitter account @voteWinston.
McKenzie today told Inside Croydon that he was “really fed up” with the Tweets, which he says were unauthorised, and which include the claim that “Winston gives it to you straight”, announcing that the UKIP candidate is opposed to gay marriage.
Some of the social media messages were targeted at Labour’s newly selected candidate, Steve Reed, who has a strong record on LGBT issues and is openly gay.
McKenzie condemned the posts saying, “It’s low. I don’t want to make gay marriage an election issue in this campaign.”
It’s not clear whether this was an internal error at his campaign HQ, or whether McKenzie’s account had been hacked into by someone trying to discredit the UKIP candidate.
McKenzie said, “I will get to the bottom of it,” regarding the shocking tweets about Reed, who was ranked at 36th in this week’s Independent on Sunday “Pink List” of the country’s most influential homosexuals and lesbians (for the record, comedian Sue Perkins, at No13, was Croydon’s highest ranked member of the Pink List).
McKenzie’s story is reminiscent of the most controversial south London by-election, in Bermondsey 30 years ago, when Simon Hughes says that he was marketed by the Liberals without his permission as the “straight choice” over Peter Tatchell.
Meanwhile, investigations continue as to who has been behind the comments appearing on the @GavinBarwellMP Twitter account for the past three years.
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