SURREY’S branch of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has disowned one of its candidates standing in today’s Waverley Borough Council elections following a Twitter ‘racism’ row.
Adam Wade, the UKIP candidate for Haslemere Critchmere and Shottermill and who is a Royal Mail postman, attracted criticism this week after posting several memes to his Twitter account which critics have claimed are racist in their tone.
The memes include mocked-up images of controversial UKIP MEP hopeful Carl Benjamin, with Benjamin “acknowledging” Hitler, executing a Viet Cong officer and dressed as a Minstrel at the ‘Coon Carnival’ in South Africa.
Mr Wade, a South African national, was subsequently dubbed a “racist making blackface images” by a fellow Twitter user – and when asked for his response by the Herald, the Waverley candidate posted a 13-minute video online, blaming the uproar on an “agent of the Stasi” and commenting “it looks like the dirty, dirty smear merchants might come after little ol’ me”.
In it, Mr Wade admits making the memes for “a laugh” and says they have been taken out of context – asking “is there anyone out there who thought none of that was funny?”
Mr Wade also cited his right to free speech when challenged on his defence of Benjamin’s use of racial slur the ‘N’ word in earlier Tweets.
“Note, we support free speech but with that comes responsibility – to treat people with respect. This oversteps that threshold.”