A Conservative councillor called for UKIP to take action after claiming an alleged activist had homophobic ‘prejudices’ during an Adur District Council motion on hate crime.
Churchill ward councillor James Butcher claimed resident Paul Moynan had listed his job details as ‘gay prostitute’ on his personal Facebook page.
He told councillors Mr Moynan had announced his intention to stand for UKIP in the 2018 district council elections and urged the party to ban him from doing so.
UKIP denied selection for the 2018 elections had taken place, adding it was ‘unaware of details of Mr Moynan’s working life’.
Mr Butcher told full council on Thursday: “We’ve talked a lot about racism and we’ve talked a lot about xenophobia but one thing I want to touch on is homophobia.
“This chap, Paul Moynan, a UKIP activist, is going to be standing, he’s told me, and my challenge to UKIP is that he doesn’t. His job title is listed as ‘bent over’ and his place of work is listed as ‘gay prostitute’. My challenge to UKIP is that you take this motion seriously and you don’t allow this person who clearly has prejudices.”
Mr Moynan was not present at the meeting. His Facebook profile, which Mr Butcher said included a picture of him in front of a UKIP-branded car, no longer shows the references mentioned.
The Herald made repeated attempts to seek a comment from Mr Moynan as a result of the claims made at the meeting and will be pleased to publish a response in a future edition.
UKIP leader Paul Graysmark said the party would investigate the claims.
Speaking after the meeting, East Worthing and Shoreham UKIP chairman Mike Glennon said: “There has not even been discussion of next year’s list, so 2018 is certainly imaginary at this point in time. UKIP has the most stringent vetting process of any political party, both at local and head office level and this will always be applied whenever we consider any person wishing to stand for the party. We are unaware of details of Mr Moynan’s working life, so cannot comment on what is essentially a private matter.”
Mr Glennon added UKIP’s support for the motion was unanimous in ‘word and spirit.’
The Herald considered carefully whether to report the comments of Mr Butcher but did so as they were made at a formal debate in the public domain at a meeting of Adur District Council.
Hate crime motion passed
Adur District Council unanimously condemned racism, xenophobia and hate crime on Thursday.
Councillors voted in favour of a motion, tabled by Labour’s Sami Zeglam, who said he had been subjected to racism and xenophobia in the build up to the European Union referendum.
Mr Zeglam said: “Through rhetoric and actions, a campaign marked by bigotry, it has become acceptable to say the unacceptable.
“The country post election has become marked by an increase in hate crime, the consequence of fear and lies peddled during the election.”
Conservative councillor Dave Simmons said residents could download a mobile phone application called ‘Self Evident’, which enabled reporting of hate crimes.
Mr Zeglam, who was elected to St Mary’s ward in May, said many residents were not aware of the issue as incidents were not reported.