Ukip 2014: The best gaffes, resignations and controversies

 
Guy Bentley
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(Source: Getty)

It's been a bumper year for the "people's army", storming to victory in the European elections and capturing its first seats in Westminster.

UK politics appears to be in a state of flux with a split on the right and neither of the major parties able to muster over 35 per cent of the vote.

Nigel Farage remains one of the most popular party leaders, but he has taken a knock after rows over breastfeeding, racism and sex scandals. The latest Ipsos Mori poll shows the Ukip leader's net satisfaction diving to -20 per cent.

Despite its best efforts to professionalise itself, the party that eschews political correctness and champions straight talking has been burned by a series of gaffes made by party officials high and low.

Here are some of Ukip's greatest gaffes from 2014.

Shooting peasants


Ukip's candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock was forced to resign after making a host of offensive remarks, that were revealed by the Mail on Sunday. Kerry Smith referred to gay Ukip members as "poofters" and spoke about shooting people on a "peasant hunt". Speaking on LBC this morning, Nigel Farage said Smith was a "rough diamond" who "talks and speaks like a lot of people". He defended Smith's use of the word "chinky" referring to Chinese women, by asking:

If you and your mates are going out for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?

The floods


At the start of the year, Ukip councillor David Silvester claimed the floods that were afflicting the country were caused by the government's decision to legalise gay marriage. Silvester claimed David Cameron moved in a direction that was "arrogantly against the Gospel", and would result in "disaster".

Westminster mosque


Twitter had a good laugh at Ukip's expense after the party's South Thanet branch tweeted its ire that the Daily Politics' choice of location for conducting a straw poll on whether Nigel Farage had what it took to be PM. The tweet said, "perfect place to hold vote in front of a mosque in London". The vote took place outside Westminster Cathedral, the country's most important Catholic church.

Romanians next door


Nigel Farage came in for a heavy amount of flack after comments he made about Romanian immigrants. Farage said in an interview that people would be concerned if Romania and moved in next door. When asked what the difference was between having Romanians and Germans as next door neighbours, he replied "you know what the difference is".

Breastfeeding


Farage sparked controversy after he suggested mothers breastfeeding in public should "sit in the corner" and that "It isn't too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that isn't ostentatious".

Immigrants and traffic jams


The Ukip leader recently blamed his late arrival to the party's first Welsh conference on immigrants clogging up the M4. Farage said his tardiness had:

Nothing to do with professionalism. What is does have to do with is a country in which the population is going through the roof, chiefly because of open-door immigration, and the fact the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.

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