Some see them as a persecuted party that stands up for traditional ideals, while others see them as a nasty bunch of covert racists and the ‘posh’ version of the BNP.

But there is no denying that UKIP has been besieged lately with a series of scandals that have posed a serious question mark over their politics.

Recently it was reported that Councillor Bryan Hawes was forced to resign after making racist comments about black people.

He had stepped down from representing Haverhill North because of complaints over a comment he made while handing out leaflets in the town.

While leafleting and accompanied by other town councillors, including deputy mayor Cllr Maureen Byrne, town clerk Will Austin and Cllr Gary Stroud, Stroud attempted to give a leaflet to a black person.

But Hawes attempted to stop her. He said later: “A young black bloke came out of Tesco and Stroudy (Cllr Stroud) went to give him a leaflet and I said ‘don’t give them to black people, we don’t want them on our rec’. We are selective about who we give our leaflets to.”

When he was told that his comments had been offensive to the fellow councillor, he appeared to express surprise that she was offended. Rather than apologise for what he said, he instead expressed regret that Stroud had disagreed with his comments and said: “I went and 
said ‘I’m sorry that I offended you. I’m sorry you took it that way, and I apologise’.”

He then claimed that his remarks had been meant as a joke. Stroud, who has black brothers and sisters however, tells a different story and claimed that he watched foreign residents walk by and made no moves to give leaflets to any of them.

But Mr Hawes contended that he was not racist because he used to work as a referee for football teams – some of which had black members.

However, he is not the only UKIP member to come under fire for making racist remarks. It was recently reported that former school teachers of Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP were concerned about his neo-nazi tendencies, volatile behaviour and overt support for fascism.

According to a letter written in 1981 by a young English teacher at the private Dulwich College in south London which Farage attended, plans to appoint him as a prefect during his time at the college, were bitterly opposed.

The letters which were seen by Channel 4 told of how Farage would bully other pupils and make offensive remarks towards them. He also sang Hitler Youth songs and expressed views which were even further to the the right of Enoch Powell – who Farage was an admirer of.

Now it is true that there are many people who express hateful or immature views in their childhood and then grow out of it.

However, what was even more telling was Farage’s response to the scandal. Although he admitted to being a troublemaker who liked to wind people up and offend them, he claimed that he was not racist – despite his open support for Hitler and fascist views.

In fact, it was claimed that his ideology was so offensive, that Chloe Deakin, the young English teacher who wrote the letters, expressed grave concerns over the decision to appoint him as a prefect, saying that it would have “far-reaching” consequences.

But several UkIP candidates have been accused of racism, including Farage’s close ally Godfrey Bloom, who this summer talked of aid being wasted on “Bongo-bongo land”. Bloom also came under fire last week for calling a roomful of women “sluts”.

When asked by a reporter, why black and Asian people were under-represented in a party, he claimed that the reporter was racist for asking the question and then attempted to assault him by hitting him over the head with a book, instead of answering the question.

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