UKIP party spokesman who branded Islam a 'death cult' defended by leader Paul Nuttall

Nick Reilly
UKIP’s Paul Nuttall has defended the party’s Brexit spokesman (Picture: REX)

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has defended his party’s Brexit spokesman after he referred to Islam as a ‘death cult’.

In a blog post published in the aftermath of the Westminster terror attack, MEP Gerard Batten claimed that Islam is a ‘death cult born and steeped in fourteen hundred years of violence and bloodshed, that propagates itself by intimidation, violence and conquest.’

But Mr Nuttall has now moved to defend Batten, and instead claimed that he ‘got his terminology wrong’.

Speaking in an ITV interview that is due to air tonight, Mr Nuttall told Julie Etchingham: ‘I think he’s got his terminology wrong, OK. I think Islamic fundamentalism is a cancer within our society, I don’t think Islam itself is a death cult (in) any way, shape or form.’

Gerard Batten made the claims in a blog post (Picture: REX Features)

The Ukip leader, who is contesting the Boston & Skegness seat on June 8, also revealed that he had spoken to the families of Hillsborough victims after falsely claiming that he had lost a close friend in the disaster.

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Asked if he could understand their anger, he said: ‘They obviously were upset, but because it brought the whole thing to the fore again, it was all over the national media and I totally understand that.’

And despite suffering brutal losses in last week’s council elections, Mr Nuttall still insists that Ukip isn’t a spent political force.

He said: ‘The post-Brexit Ukip or indeed the Ukip which will come after this General Election could well be bigger than the pre-Brexit Ukip.

‘Because if Theresa May begins to barter things away, for example bartering away our fisheries, if she decides that we must pay a divorce bill, if she says that we will continue paying some form of membership fee or messes around with freedom of movement of people, people will feel very angry indeed because that isn’t what people voted for on June 23 and I think they’ll come to Ukip in their droves.’