Two new county councillors have defended themselves against a national press report which branded them racists.
Yesterday’s Sunday Mirror newspaper featured an article ‘Racist Rants of the UKIP Councillors’ which highlighted Facebook posts from councillors Chris Pain and Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright.
The pair both firmly stressed to The Standard that they are not racist – and said attempts to paint them as such are part of an attempt to undermine UKIP following its election success in Boston.
Coun Pain is the leader of the opposition at Lincolnshire County Council after winning the Wainfleet and Burgh division. He will contest the Boston and Skegness constituency at the next General Election.
He was said to have written: “Have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in ‘illegal immigrants’, and add just a few more letters, it spells, ‘Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making, non-English-speaking ********* and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-********, raghead ******** with you.’”
Coun Pain told The Standard that his account had been hacked and that he had not made the post himself. He said he does not agree with the words written and would never use them himself.
He told The Standard: “At the moment I am changing passwords like crazy and putting locks on.”
He added that he has had many people contact him to offer their support over the weekend and said he has a number of friends from different cultural backgrounds who would agree that he is not a racist.
He said: “I am angry full stop at being classed as a racist which is unbelievable, diabolical and an insult to all of my friends of different creeds who came to my wedding.”
Coun Keywood-Wainwright won the Boston North-West division from Coun Andrea-Jenkyns. She was quoted in the Mirror as having complained about mosques being built in “quintessentially English” Cambridge.
She is said to have written on Facebook: “Is nowhere sacred for the Brits in Britain any more?”, adding: “Bottom line is we have too many Muslims in this country!”
Coun Keywood-Wainwright told The Standard: “It just goes to show you can’t say anything doesn’t it?
“My doctor is a Muslim, if I was a racist I wouldn’t have a Muslim doctor.
“There are too many people in this country full stop. They have pulled that out in light of something else. It was a conversation with someone else.”
She said the spotlight was now on UKIP and that some political opponents were trying to portray them as racists.
Coun Keywood-Wainwright added: “I am no racist. Several of my friends would laugh at that...and be quite upset.
“For instance this weekend I’ve got a Polish friend coming up to stay. They wouldn’t be coming up to stay if I was a racist.
“It is an absolute loads of balderdash. The bottom line is that UKIP is not a racist party.”
Nick Lowles of the campaign group Hope Not Hate responded to Coun Pain’s post by saying: “This is the most disgusting racist outburst from any election official I have ever heard. In fact, nothing a BNP councillor has said in recent years has come close to it.”
He has written to UKIP Leader Nigel Farage asking him to kick out the two councillors for their comments, adding: “We call on you to expel Chris Pain and the others immediately and, given his position in the party, we expect you to publicly apologise.”
Coun Pain said he was confident that the party leadership would take the matter no further once they had seen his explanation.
The new crop of UKIP councillors attended a county council meeting on Friday and were asked to sign a motion proposed by Labour councillor Robert Parker stating ‘we will work vigorously to combat all forms of racism to rid Lincolnshire of racial discrimination’.
Coun Pain said the councillors were not able to amend the declaration and said that they disagreed with what they saw as the promotion of ‘multi-culturalism’.
In a statement he said: “It was some while ago that all parties at national level abandoned the policy of multi-culturalism in favour of a policy of integration and it is surprising that Labour, supported by the Conservatives in the County Council, should continue to pursue this policy, which to promote separation of communities and divisions in our society.
“So the UKIP team were placed in an untenable position where they could not sign the declaration as presented and now the quiet accusation is that they are racist.”