Ukip election candidate resigns over "poofters" scandal

The Ukip parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock has resigned over recordings of phone calls in which he called gay people "poofters".

Kerry Smith, who is a member of Essex County Council and Basildon District Council, quit last night even after having previously apologised for his comments.

In recordings obtained by the Mail on Sunday he called members of LGBTQ, Ukip's gay group as "f**king disgusting old poofters".

He also called a Chinese woman a "chinky" and joked about going on a "peasant hunt" in Essex.

In a statement he said: "I want the best for South Basildon and East Thurrock and I want to see the real issues discussed that touch the lives of people. Therefore I have chosen to resign so that Ukip can win this seat next May."

Smith, who claimed that he had made the comments over two years ago when he was under stress and was taking medication for a back injury.

Before his resignation last night he had the support of his party with Ukip economic spokesmen Paul Flynn telling BBC's Sunday Politics: "This was a phone call some time ago while he was on sedatives by his own account, not really speaking, thinking rationally. He was on prescription sedatives after suffering an injury…

"He needs to learn to express himself more respectfully about minorities. He's very popular in Basildon."

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