South East UKIP Euro candidate says businesses should have right not to serve women and gay people

On the day that Nick Clegg has pointed out how, well, useless UKIP MEPs are, I had a look back 5 years to a post I wrote two days before the 2009 European election in which I pointed out why they are really bad news. I could have written it today. Nothing really has changed.

And over that 5 years, we’ve had a stream of UKIP councillors and parliamentary hopefuls say silly things. We’ve had the floods being related to equal marriage and Godfrey Bloom’s fridgegate. Not to mention one of their major donors describe women wearing trousers as a hostile act. 

Now it’s the turn of South East Euro Candidate Donna Edmunds, who’s also a Lewes Councillor. She’s reported in the Argus as saying that businesses should be free to turn away women and gay people if they please.

When asked by The Argus to clarify her statement the EU election hopeful said it would be ok for a shop owner to refuse to serve her based on no other fact than she was a woman, or if service was refused to a gay person.

She said: “I’m a libertarian so I don’t think the state should have a role on who business owners serve.

“I wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people. I’m not saying their position is a correct one. I’m saying they should be free to make that choice themselves.”

This is not the first time the Lewes councillor has garnered controversy after making statements online.

In 2011 she was forced to stand down from her role as lead councillor for communications in Lewes after labelling a constituent a “village idiot” on Twitter.

South East Liberal Democrat candidate and regular Lib Dem Voice contributor Giles Goodall responded:

Yet again UKIP have shown that they are the nasty party when it comes to rights for women and LGBT people. They have repeatedly failed to vote for equality in the European Parliament and their views simply do not reflect modern Britain.

We now have less than three months to stop UKIP from winning the European elections. Liberal Democrats, as the Party of In, will be leading that fight and standing up for an open, tolerant society.

People in the South East have a real choice on 22 May: vote for a party which has pushed forward equal rights in Britain and all over Europe, or risk taking us back to the dark ages with UKIP.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • I have some hostile trousers. They’ve got spikes on and everything.

  • I am female. I don’t wear trousers. I want to look like a woman. I don’t want to look like a man. Respect me please.

  • Oh dear, why is it that when UKIP speak I feel like I’m an extra in life on mars……

  • “Oh dear, why is it that when UKIP speak I feel like I’m an extra in life on mars……”

    Perhaps the Catherine Tate version (1951) is the most appropriate:

  • “I wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people. I’m not saying their position is a correct one.”

    Mind you, that makes me feel a bit like an extra in a Carry On film.

    “Infamy, infamy! …”

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 5th Mar '14 - 11:12pm

    Theresa, you can wear what you like. The whole point is that the guy who gives them loads of money thinks that women should dress to please men.

  • Malcolm Todd 5th Mar '14 - 11:23pm

    My wife often wears trousers. I assure you, I have never mistaken her for a man.

  • Libertarian?! UKIP?!

  • There are odd characters in all political parties. Some would say that I am one of them!

    Why on earth are we giving so much free publicity to UKIP? The people who vote for them will not be put off by this sort of story. The people who had not heard of them now will have heard of them, and may, perversely be attracted to them.ès_de_scandale

  • Chris Grayling has said the same.

  • If the truth be told, there are a lot of other males lurking in the shadows who think women should dress to please men. Maybe our party should refuse all further donations from men on a point of principle …. just in case 🙂

  • David White 6th Mar '14 - 11:52am

    How does dear Nige manage to find so many marvellously entertaining candidates?

  • Not sure it makes sense to say UKIP is ‘useless’ when they have got the issue of leaving the EU out in the open.

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