Ukip MEP who called women 'sluts' should lose his job, says leader
A Ukip MEP who branded a room full of women "sluts" should be stripped of the party whip, Nigel Farage has said.
The Ukip leader said he did not have the power himself to remove the whip from Godfrey Bloom, but would recommend to the party's chairman that the action should be taken.
The row over Mr Bloom's comments overshadowed Mr Farage's speech to the party conference, and the Ukip leader said the controversial MEP had "gone too far".
He told the BBC: "My recommendation is that we now today remove the party whip."
Mr Farage said Mr Bloom's behaviour had been "selfish" and was overshadowing "all the good things" happening at the conference.
He added: "The trouble with Godfrey is that he is not a racist, he's not an extremist or any of those things and he's not even anti-women but he has a sort-of rather old fashioned territorial army sense of humour which does not translate very well in modern Britain.
"What he ought to have learnt is that time and time again he says things that overshadow the whole agenda that Ukip is fighting for."
He added: "My opinion is Godfrey has gone beyond the pale. He's a friend of mine and I'm sorry to say it but he has gone beyond the pale and I think we have no option but to remove the whip from him."
Attention at the party's conference in Westminster was diverted from Mr Farage's keynote speech by Mr Bloom's actions, which also included an altercation with a TV journalist.
Pressed about the sluts comment, Mr Bloom told Sky News: "I made a joke and said 'oh well you're all sluts' and everybody laughed including all the women."
In a reference to previous comments made by Mr Bloom that he was keen to deal with women's issues because they did not ''clean behind the fridge enough'', a Ukip woman is heard joking: "I too have never cleaned behind my fridge."
Yorkshire and the Humber MEP Mr Bloom is then clearly heard responding "this place is full of sluts" on the audio clip of the meeting recorded by the Huffington Post website.
The controversial politician also raised eyebrows when he hit Channel 4 journalist Michael Crick over the head with a copy of Ukip's conference guide and then called him a racist.
As he left the fringe event, he was confronted by the Channel 4 News political correspondent over why there were "no black faces" on the cover of the conference brochure.
Mr Bloom took a swipe at the broadcaster with the agenda and replied: "What a racist comment is that? How dare you? That's an appalling thing to say. You're picking people out for the colour of their skin, you disgust me."
Mr Farage had singled out Mr Bloom in his conference speech, in which he said some in the party had made "public pronouncements that I would not always choose myself".
Mr Bloom was previously criticised for an attack on Britain sending aid to "Bongo Bongo Land" and has been forced to deny that claims that no "self-respecting businessman" would hire a woman of child-bearing age were sexist.
"I had the most blistering row with Godfrey Bloom in a Strasbourg restaurant the other day. He wants to fight for his beliefs and I was saying that we need to stick to the big messages," Mr Farage said.