UK lawmaker loses party support over slut remark
LONDON (AP) — A British member of the European Parliament has been temporarily disowned by his right-wing party after referring to a room of party delegates on Friday as “sluts.”
Godfrey Bloom found himself in hot water on Friday at the conference of the United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, when he said “this place is full of sluts” in response to a delegate who joked that she did not clean behind her fridge.
Bloom insisted he was joking, that “slut” was a way of referring not to promiscuity but untidiness. He later asked a BBC reporter if her mother had ever called her a slut. That reporter laughed — but the comments set off a firestorm, later exacerbated when Bloom struck a reporter with a conference brochure for asking why there were no black faces on the booklet’s cover. Bloom has previously been criticized for saying Britain shouldn’t be sending aid to “Bongo Bongo land” — a derogatory term for African nations.
Party leader Nigel Farage said Bloom had “gone beyond the pale” with his slut comment.
“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.”
Party Chairman Steve Crowther said that Bloom accepted his decision to revoke the whip — or withdraw its support — of Bloom pending a disciplinary hearing. He called it “a shame” that the Bloom incidents were conditioning media coverage of the conference.
Crowther earlier criticized Bloom’s use of the term “Bongo Bongo land,” saying it should not be used by UKIP members because it was “outdated.” Another European right-wing party — Italy’s Northern League — stirred controversy this year when a member referred to the nation’s first black Cabinet minister as belonging to a “Bongo Bongo government.”