A SECOND UKIP General Election hopeful has become embroiled in claims over homophobic comments made online.
Hope Not Hate alleged the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Banbury, Dickie Bird, made the offensive remarks on Facebook.
The pressure group released pictures appearing to show a post on Mr Bird’s account on January 25, 2013, that said: “bus done now on the train sat opposite some gay p****”.
And in another explicit post he supposedly called former Liverpool and Chelsea footballer Fernando Torres “a gay boy like the rest”.
The claims came less than 24 hours after Mr Bird’s party colleague Alan Harris faced similar accusations.
Mr Bird was not available for comment last night, while Mr Harris refused to comment.
However, UKIP headquarters last night issued a statement replicating its comment on allegations made about Mr Harris, saying it believed the claims about Mr Bird may not stand up to scrutiny.
Mr Harris, the parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, was alleged by Hope Not Hate to have also posted homophobic remarks, as well a racist message to Mr Bird.
Mr Harris’ wife took to Facebook to say her husband’s account had been “hacked”.
She wrote: “You all jump on the bandwagon, just like a flock of sheep. Remember there is [sic] always two sides to a story.”
Last night Mr Bird could not be reached for comment, but on Wednesday he said: “As far as I am aware I have never received a message like that from Alan. I do not know where they [Hope Not Hate] are getting this from, it’s really depressing.”
Hope Not Hate researcher Simon Cressy said: “Despite their protestations, this clearly demonstrates that UKIP in Oxfordshire as well as around the UK have a problem when it comes to the selection of their candidates.”
Mr Cressy said he obtained the pictures of the alleged Facebook posts after befriending Mr Bird and Mr Harris on the social network under a false name.
Commenting yesterday on claims against candidates elsewhere in the UK ahead of last night’s televised leaders debate, during a Radio 4 interview, Mr Farage admitted his party was “far from perfect”, but said it took swift action against those “who do say or do inappropriate things”