UKIP member refuses to shakes women's hands
UKIP member Shneur Odze has received support from the public over his religious beliefsTwitter

The Jewish MEP candidate who refuses to shake women's hands due to his religious beliefs said he has been inundated with support over his stance.

Shneur Odze told party members recently his Orthodox Judaism forbids him from having physical contact with women other than his wife.

Fred McGlade, a Ukip regional organiser, took offence over Odze's attitude, believing it alienated half the electorate from the party.

But since Odze's admission about his behaviour towards women, he said he has received nothing but support from senior party officials and the public.

He told IBTimes UK : "I respect Mr McGlade's right to be offended and his right to resign. We live in a democracy. But even the Chief Rabbi didn't shake the Queen's hand when he became a Lord. So if it's good enough for the Queen, it's good enough for me.

"If I had a chorus of people, bar the English Democrats and British National Party, saying I was wrong then maybe I would have reconsidered my position. But that has not been the case.

"I think it says a lot about where Ukip is today. We are an all-embracing party from different walks of life and backgrounds."

Odze, who is currently ranked 23rd in the country as a UKIP MEP candidate, is calling for more of an "equal playing field" among the parties.

"When a picture of Ed Balls dressed as a full Nazi was published no one batted an eyelid," he said.

Odze is a community activist, part-time Rabbi and former Tory councillor.

"I stopped being a Conservative in 2010. I started to question their core principles in Government over the last 10 years and was very disillusioned. I saw in Ukip that it was bringing back popular democracy," he said.