Former Northamptonshire UKIP candidate says he quit party because he felt he was being ‘gagged’

Tim wilson has stood down from his candidacy of the Northamptonshire South seat in protest of what he felt were 'Islamophobic' comments.

Tim wilson has stood down from his candidacy of the Northamptonshire South seat in protest of what he felt were 'Islamophobic' comments.

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A Northamptonshire UKIP candidate, who stood down in protest after a fellow member allegedly made ‘Islamophobic’ comments, said he was being ‘gagged’ by the party.

Daventry man Tim Wilson was due to stand for the Northamptonshire South seat in May.

But he quit last week in reaction to comments made by Scottish MEP David Coburn, who had compared Scottish minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.

Mr Wilson said he believed the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, had failed to take the remark seriously enough when he branded it ‘a joke’ in response.

However in an interview with the Chronicle & Echo, Mr Wilson, a lecturer and theologist, said the comments by Mr Coburn and Mr Farage were the ‘final straw’ for him.

He said he resigned because he felt party whips were consistently stopping him from talking about Islam.

“I have felt for a very long time that we have to do something about the way we talk about and respond to the Islamic faith,” he said.

“But every time I spoke about Islam, UKIP thought it was unacceptable.

“Then at the same time there was this man in Scotland talking this bile. I thought it was unacceptable.”

A spokesman for UKIP admitted the party did have words with Mr Wilson about his campaigning methods.

“The problem is there are expectations UKIP puts on all of its candidates,” the spokesman said. “Principal among those is we want our candidates to be talking about local issues.

“While radical Islam is a subject Nigel and the national side of the party must talk about, it is not something we are expecting a candidate in Northamptonshire to talk about.”

The spokesperson added: “Nigel (Farage) made it very clear that he assessed the remarks to be a joke made in poor taste; it’s not agreeing with it or making light of it.”

Mr Wilson said he joined UKIP because he agreed with the party’s stance towards high speed railway line HS2, which is likely run through the south of Northamptonshire, and he believes the UK needs to rethink its stance towards the European Union.

Now he says he wishes he had never joined the party. He said: “I would have done a deal with the devil to have stopped HS2 coming through Northamptonshire, now I feel I have.”