Ukip mired in new bigotry row over sectarian comments by Arthur Thackeray, the party's Scottish chairman
Ukip mired in new bigotry row over sectarian comments by Arthur Thackeray, the party's Scottish chairman

A senior figure in Ukip has been told to seek counselling over sectarian rants by his own party.

Arthur Thackeray, the interim chairman of the EU-phobic party in Scotland, has been told to get help after he was accused of spouting bigoted views in a series of inflammatory online posts.

Thackeray laid into Glasgow city council by accusing it of being run by homosexuals and Catholics – who engaged in a conspiracy to keep out different voices, he apparently suggested.

Thackeray, a councillor in Glasgow's Wellhouse and Queenslie ward, tapped into deep-seated sectarian tensions between Protestants and Catholics in Scotland's second city with his comments.

According to the Herald, Thackeray said: "There's more chance of winning the lottery two weeks running than getting an openly Rangers-supporting MSP into the chamber of the institutionally catholicised pretendy parliament ... lol."

Blasting Glasgow City Council, Thackeray continued: "No wonder the blue half of my city say GCC ­actually stands for the Glasgow Celtic Council for gays Catholics Communists eh. Lol. NS!"

As a result, Thackeray has been instructed to get helped from a charity called Nil by Mouth, which campaigns against sectarianism in Scotland. It has yet to agree to the request from Ukip's head of policy, John Stanley.

A Nil by Mouth spokesman said: "We've received a request from Ukip in London for its ­Scottish branch to engage with our ­sectarianism awareness programme.

"We will give this request due consideration should the ­Scottish branch follow up this contact."

Condemning Thackeray's online outburst, Ukip's own LGBT wing welcomed Stanley's therapy instruction - and called on the chairman to consider his position.

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Thomas Booker told IBTimes UK: "I think that if he is hostile to homosexuals and sees same-sex people as in opposition to him, then he needs to reconsider his position in the party. I will always defend people's right to freedom of speech but saying things which are against the party's beliefs is intolerable.

"These comments are not helpful and we can see that [Ukip's head of policy in Scotland] John Stanley has reacted very quickly which is good to see, by himself ordering Thackeray to go along to some of counselling sessions at the charity."

Thackeray's comments, which appeared in 2011 but have only just come to light, is the latest gaffe by members of Nigel Farage's right-wing party.

Last week Farage announced a purge of "barmy" members – only to be engulfed in fresh controversy when a councillor in England blamed UK floods on new gay marriage laws.

Thackeray did not respond to requests for comment from IBTimes UK.