Ukip leadership hopeful dismisses gay donkey remark as ‘playful banter’
‘I'm sorry if I offended anyone by doing that but can we please move on?’
A Ukip leadership wannabe has played down his past comments that a gay donkey tried to rape his horse.
As he appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics show, John Rees-Evans also explained why he once took a hand gun into Ikea.
The Ukip activist today became the eighth person to declare his candidature for the leadership.
“All the other candidates are essentially jostling to take UKIP down a given path… What I'm proposing to do with UKIP is entirely different. I am proposing to transfer power from the leadership to the membership,” he said.
But Rees-Evans was less keen to discuss a remark he made in 2014, when he said that his horse had been the victim of attempted rape by a gay donkey.
He told presenter Jo Coburn: “It's really interesting what you're doing, I'm trying to tell you my serious vision for UKIP and you're trying to trivialise it. It was a bit of playful banter with a mischievous activist.
“I would be so appreciative if you could understand the concept I'm trying to communicate to your viewers and that is, according to the plan I have for UKIP, UKIP is going to grow….
“I concede it was a mistake to be playful with an activist in the street, the fact is I'm not a politician. The guy was just asking me questions in the street. It was an error of judgement. I was very early coming into politics and I'm sorry if I offended anyone by doing that but can we please move on?”
On a Vice News report that he took a handgun into Ikea, he said: “The chap who wrote that, he's a great guy but that's an embellishment, he's writing for an audience that appreciates exaggerated journalism.
"On that particular day I was doing some training, which is quite normal in Bulgaria. I do IPSC which is competitive, speed pistol shooting. Of course I was trained by the British army to operate those weapons. It's a waste of taxpayer money if I don't maintain those skills.”
He said he took the gun into a store “because it simply wasn't safe to hand it over to the security”.
The same report also stated that Rees-Evans planned to build a secure compound in Bulgaria to support his family and friends in the event of global meltdown.
The Ukip leadership hopeful told The Daily Politics that the details about him building a secure compound in Bulgaria were “entirely exaggerated”.
Rees-Evans has also unleashed a leadership campaign film in which he sets out his aim of transforming Ukip's structure to stop the party from being hijacked by a self-seeking leader.
He opines: "What is clear to me is that none of us is completely immune from the ugly aspects of human nature – selfishness, arrogance and pride.
"What is also clear is that when you put someone in a position of power these unpleasant characteristics generally don’t diminish. They intensify.”