'Bongo-bongo land' politician to remain UKIP member despite party withdrawing support (From The Northern Echo)
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'Bongo-bongo land' politician to remain UKIP member despite party withdrawing support
10:41am Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
A POLITICIAN who sparked outrage after making comments about "sluts" and “bongo-bongo land”, has said he had not felt comfortable representing UKIP before the party withdrew its whip.
North Yorkshire-based MEP Godfrey Bloom, who has served as a Yorkshire MEP for nine years, lost the support of the party after describing a group of women attending a fringe event at the UK Independence Party conference on Friday (September 20) as “sluts”.
The senior UKIP politician’s controversial language overshadowed the keynote speech by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who said Mr Bloom had "destroyed" the party's conference.
In his first statement since a row erupted over the comment, Mr Bloom said he had been inundated with messages of support since the weekend.
He said: “I have felt for some time now that the New UKIP is not really right for me, anymore perhaps than New Labour was right for the Denis ‘The Beast Of Bolsover’ Skinner.
“However our message is clear. Self-government. Our wonderful and loyal membership will win through with their dedication and hard work.
“It has been a pleasure to work with them for 15 years.”
The 63-year-old former Army officer, who had been responding to comments about women not cleaning enough behind fridges, said he would support a Yorkshire-based female politician as the next UKIP candidate for the region.
He said: “I shall sit out my term as an independent and give my whole hearted support to Jane Collins who is almost certainly going to be the next UKIP MEP.
He added: “I shall of course retain my membership [of the party].”
“May I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the thousands of people who have supported me with messages of good will in the recent months and particularly in recent days.
“There have been simply too many to make a personal response, forgive me. Onwards and upwards!”
Last month, Mr Bloom apologised after stating Britain should not send aid to "bongo bongo land".
Mr Bloom’s statement followed politicians at North East Lincolnshire Council, a part of his constituency, calling for him to step down as an MEP.
Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew De Freitas said: “He has made similar statements in the past that were quite disgraceful and it is not the sort of thing you expect from people who represent the public.
“I think it is dreadful and it doesn't say much for our region. People will think we must all be nut cases when we have someone representing us who expresses these sort of views. What he should do is resign."
Conservative councillor John Fenty said: "He is supposed to be an upstanding member of the community representing the country and behaviour like this is untenable."
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