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Ukip General Secretary Paul Oakley Quits Over Carl Benjamin Rape Remark
13 July 2019, 14:21 | Updated: 13 July 2019, 14:26
Ukip's General Secretary says he has quit over the handling of Carl Benjamin and his remarks about raping Labour MP Jess Philips.
Paul Oakley tells LBC it is an "own goal" for Ukip to invite former-European election candidate Carl Benjamin to speak at a party event in Eastbourne today.
Speaking to Matt Frei, Mr Oakley said the "rapiness" of the party had distracted from its Brexit policy.
"These EU elections were always going to be hard for us," he said.
"We were doing okay, then one of our candidates said he might cave and rape a Labour MP and all we got in the media after that was the rapiness [sic] of our party.
"Our policy was deeply ignored," he added, saying the party tried to push the comments aside.
"On a practical level we tried to shut it down by saying it was under police investigation and we wouldn't answer any questions," he said.
Mr Oakley also said his advice to 'shut him up' was ignored when Mr Benjamin appeared in live television interviews just days later.
He said: "We're now on 0% in the opinion polls, and as general secretary I was incensed by that.
"I suggested to the NEC immediately after the election that we take disciplinary proceedings, and it was decided they must be completely formal.
"Nothing at all happened and this guy is on the platform this afternoon.
"I want nothing to do with him, what an own-goal."