A member of Britain’s right-leaning U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) has courted controversy for saying that a group of female activists were “sluts”, reports the BBC.
Godfrey Bloom, a member of the European parliament for UKIP, made the comments during a “women in politics” event at the party’s annual conference in London on Friday. During the event two female UKIP members joked that they did not clean behind the fridge, to which Bloom shouted, “This place is full of sluts”, says the Huffington Post U.K. It has published an audio clip of the exchange.
When confronted by journalists after the event, Bloom said: “I made a joke and said ‘Oh well, you’re all sluts,’ and everybody laughed and all the women laughed.” The BBC reports that one of the women there, Janice Atkinson, said that she was not offended by the remarks.
After Bloom was questioned by journalists over using the word “slut”, a reporter for Channel 4 news, Michael Crick, asked Bloom why there were no non-white faces on the UKIP campaign flyer. In a video published on Channel 4’s website, Bloom accused the journalist of being “racist” and then struck the journalist over the head with the flyer.
The BBC has confirmed that UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, has had dismissed Bloom from a role in UKIP that gave him responsibility for ensuring party discipline. Farage told the BBC that Bloom’s actions had gone “beyond the pale” and that his “repeated behavior has been selfish” and was “overshadowing” the conference.
Bloom made headlines in the U.K. in August when he made controversial remarks about British foreign aid going to “bongo-bongo land,” a derogatory reference to developing countries. By way of apology, Bloom told BBC Radio 4: “If I’ve offended anybody in bongo-bongo land I will write to their ambassador at the Court of St. James”.