The leader of a controversial right-wing political party has defended a candidate who once posted a shocking rape tweet about a female MP.
In 2016, Carl Benjamin allegedly tweeted to British Labour Party politician Jess Phillips that “I wouldn’t even rape you”.
Mr Benjamin tweeted the comment after Ms Phillips had gone public about previous rape threats directed at her, tweeting: “People talking about raping me isn’t fun, but has become somewhat par for the course”.
Ms Phillips later claimed that post had sparked more than 600 threats against her in one night alone.
But Mr Benjamin, who was recently selected as a UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate, was defended by UKIP leader Gerard Batten, who said he welcomed Mr Benjamin’s selection.
During an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Batten said the comment was merely a joke.
“I think this was satire,” Mr Batten said according to Metro.
“I don’t know the exact context of that and I certainly don’t condone any remarks like that but he is not a bad person as he’s being portrayed.
“He is a proponent of free speech. The context that he said it was satire against the people he was saying it about. He wasn’t actually making a literal statement.”
Just found out that the author of this tweet, Carl Benjamin, has been selected by UKIP as MEP candidate in my constituency of South West England.
I look forward to his humiliation on May 23rd and profoundly hope he loses his 5k. pic.twitter.com/cJuUmk9AQF
— Simon Gurr (@simongurr) April 14, 2019
Mr Benjamin, a married father of two and anti-feminist YouTuber also known as Sargon of Akkad, has close to one million subscribers on his channel.
The political commentator is known for his pro-Brexit, anti-Islam and anti-political correctness stance.
Ms Phillips responded to the discussion about Mr Benjamin, tweeting:
“I see that people talking about if they would or wouldn’t rape me has been discussed on #Marr this morning. UKIP claim it is satire to discuss my rape. I didn’t see it I was eating pancakes with my sons and nephews. We are all flesh and blood.”
Her post has received an outpouring of thousands of likes and comments, with the vast majority condemning Mr Batten’s defence of the wannabe politician.
“This is appalling. The BBC is deliberately creating an atmosphere where this type of discussion is somehow normalised. No. No. No,” Twitter user Paul John Davies wrote, while Kevin Diamond Rooney added: “Solidarity with you. This is dehumanising speech. Time for all broadcasting media to pull the plug on anything that could be considered dehumanising. Especially from political parties and commentators or think tanks. Censorship is required.”
Last year, UKIP made headlines after racist texts about Meghan Markle penned by former leader Henry Bolton’s girlfriend Jo Marney were exposed.
At the time, Mr Bolton was faced with being sacked if he stood by his 25-year-old lover, but the pair eventually split.
The model later apologised for the “reckless and unnecessary” comments which involved claiming the Duchess os Sussex’s “seed” would “taint the Royal Family”.
Originally published as Outrage over pollie’s sick tweet