UK & World News
Godfrey Bloom Loses Whip For 'Sluts' Comment
Outspoken UKIP politician Godfrey Bloom has lost the party whip for calling women "sluts" at the party's conference.
The MEP, who started a furore this summer by claiming taxpayers' money was being wasted on aid sent to "Bongo Bongo Land", could be kicked out of the party for good after he also rapped a TV reporter over the head with a UKIP brochure.
Mr Bloom argued with journalists after he was challenged about a comment made at a fringe event in London designed to promote the advancement of women in politics.
After two female UKIP members joked they did not clean behind the fridge, Mr Bloom admits he quipped: "This place is full of sluts."
"I made a joke and said 'oh well, you're all sluts' and everybody laughed and all the women laughed," he told Sky News afterwards. "Was there a single woman in there who didn't laugh at the joke?"
The politician then dubbed Sky's Darren McCaffrey a "sad little man" after he pointed out the word "sluts" could be considered highly derogatory.
He then set off down the street but managed to have another clash with Channel 4 reporter Michael Crick en route.
Mr Crick had held up UKIP's conference book, which proclaims the party is "changing the face of politics", and asked why there were "no black faces" on the cover.
Mr Bloom called the reporter a "racist" and rapped him over the head with the book before leaping into a taxi.
Before he sped off, he said: "What a racist comment. How dare you? That's an appalling thing to say. You're picking people out for the colour of your skin? You disgust me."
Mr Bloom also reportedly told ITV correspondent Paul Brand: "You treat me badly, you'll get a lot worse than that (Crick's slap) ... that is a threat to any journalist."
And in an interview broadcast by the BBC, Mr Bloom asked Newsnight's political editor Allegra Stratton whether her mother ever called her a slut.
"You're untidy, you leave your kit lying around, has your mother never called you a slut?" he asked her.
Ms Stratton, laughing, replied: "I don't think she has. She's called me other things but not that."
Mr Bloom said: "Perhaps you're very tidy. There was no malice, it was a joke, it was all on camera."
Party leader Nigel Farage said Mr Bloom should consider his position over his "selfish and stupid" comments, and said he would speak to UKIP chairman Steve Crowther about the matter.
UKIP press officer Gawain Towler then tweeted: "Chairman has removed the whip from Godfrey Bloom pending a formal disciplinary hearing."
Mr Farage later accused Mr Bloom of "destroying" the conference and said his actions could not be tolerated.
"There is no media coverage of this conference. It's gone. It's dead. It's all about Godfrey hitting a journalist and using an unpleasant word. It's gone. And we can't put up with it," he told the conference.
Mr Bloom, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, later insisted his comment was harmless.
He wrote on Twitter: "Made a purposely outrageous joke among friends which was taken as joke by women present ... It should not be taken out of context and misinterpreted by a hostile press."
The politician is no stranger to controversy. He first raised eyebrows this summer by claiming taxpayers' money was being wasted on foreign aid sent to "Bongo Bongo Land".
And then last month he suggested women were more suited to "finding mustard in the pantry" than driving cars. He also called 20th century feminists "shrill, bored, middle class women of a certain physical genre".