Nigel Farage has denied singing Hitler Youth songs as a teenager after allegations that the Ukip leader "professed racist and neo-fascist views" during his schooldays.
Farage claimed that he had said "ridiculous things" in his youth but these utterances were "not necessarily racist", and described the reports about Hitler Youth songs as "complete baloney."
The eurosceptic figurehead was responding to Channel 4 News, which had aquired a letter written by one of his teachers at Dulwich College in 1981. The letter, from Chloe Deakin, was written shortly after Farage had been made a prefect at the south London independent school.
Deakin wrote to the school headmaster that staff had discussed Farage's prefecture, with one teacher saying the future politician was "a fascist, but that was no reason why he would not make a good prefect." This remark prompted "considerable reaction" among colleagues.
The teacher continued: "Another colleague, who teaches the boy, described his publicly professed racist and neo-fascist views; and he cited a particular incident in which Farage was so offensive to a boy in his set, that he had to be removed from the lesson.
"Yet another colleague described how, at a Combined Cadet Force [CCF] camp organised by the college, Farage and others had marched through a quiet Sussex village very late at night shouting Hitler-youth songs."
Farage responded by telling Channel 4 News: "Yes of course I said some ridiculous things. Not necessarily racist things. Well it depends how you define it.
"You've got to remember that ever since 1968 up until the last couple of years, we've not been able in this country intelligently to discuss immigration, to discuss integration.
"It's all been a buried subject - and that's happened through academia, it's happened through politics and the media."
'A Ukip earthquake is coming'
The embarrassing revelations come as Farage prepares to address Ukip's annual conference in London, where he is expected to promise that the party will "cause an earthquake" by winning next year's European elections.
Farage will also address the 'bongo bongo land' storm which engulfed his party during August, telling delegates he has had a "blistering row" with Godfrey Bloom, the MEP who made the controversial remark.
Delegates will also hear that Ukip is a "free-thinking, egalitarian party opposed to racism, sectarianism and extremism" and Britain is "moving Ukip's way" on issues such as benefits, education and Europe.